LA as Subject Residency Program 2018-2021

The L.A. as Subject residency and training program was made possible through a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The program was a collaborative effort by L.A. as Subject; Gerth Archives and Special Collections at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH); University Library at California State University, Northridge (CSUN); and the USC Libraries.

Press release: IMLS Awards Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant to Support L.A. as Subject Digital Residency and Training Program 

The program consisted of training three recent MLIS graduates as well as staff and volunteers at 30 L.A. as Subject member archives in skills related to digital collections management and help to facilitate digital library projects by LAAS members for national digital platforms such as the Digital Public Library of America.

With IMLS funding, CSUDH, CSUN, and the USC Libraries each hired a Resident Archivist for a two-year term. The L.A. as Subject Residency Program provided the opportunity for a recent MLIS graduate with an interest in pursuing a career in archives to learn from professionals and scholars in the field and gain experience in working with community archives to assess the possibilities for and/or complete digital projects. Resident Archivists had the opportunity to experience ongoing work at a variety of L.A. area community-based archives.

This project assisted LAAS members in sharing knowledge and capacity for building digital collections while at the same time providing postgraduate training for the Resident Archivists. With input from the LAAS leadership and project participants, the Resident Archivists worked with LAAS member collections determining their state of readiness for digital library projects. Work included visiting partner sites, analyzing their digitization needs, generating project plans, training staff and creating digital records.

Residents and Corresponding Projects:

Azatuhi Babayan, resident at USC

M.L.I.S. University of California, Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, specialization in Archival Studies

B.A. University of California, Berkeley, English

Position after residency: Archivist for the USC Digital Library

LAAS Archives in Project:

Gerard Collins, resident at CSUDH

Master of Library and Information Science , San José State University

Bachelor of Arts (Cinema-Television), University of Southern California

Position after residency: Collection Information Registrar at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles.

LAAS Archives in project:

Crystal Johnson, resident at CSUN       

Master of Science Library Science, Simmons College

Bachelor of Fine Arts PRINTMAKING, Rhode Island College

Position after residency: Processing Archivist for Community Collections at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

LAAS Archives in project:

Project Timeline:

  • November 2018- Information session for member. Click here (need link) for online presentation.
  • January 2019- Call for digitization proposals from LAAS archive members, posted on LA as Subject website and listserv
  • April 15, 2019 - Members’ digitization proposal due (deadline extended to April 30, 2019)
  • June 1, 2019 - Proposal selections notified (notification deadline extended to June 10, 2019)
  • July 1, 2019- Project activities begin
  • June 2019-August 2020- Digitization activities. Includes, but not limited to, the following: On-site collection surveys; metadata creation; archival Processing; and workshops
  • September 2019- Call for additional proposals announced
  • November 17, 2019 (deadline extended) - Additional proposals due
  • January 17, 2020- Sites of selected proposals notified followed by information sessions for selected sites
  • September 2020-March 2021 Capstone project development, implementation, and completion
  • April 2021 – August 2021 Project wrap-up

For more information, please contact Project Coordinator Marianne Afifi at or Liza Posas at