History Buffs to Meet at L.A. Archives Bazaar
In the 1940s and '50s, USC researchers were on the cutting edge of smog research. From the USC University Archives.
History will come alive once again on Oct. 22 as dozens of Southern California’s rare and archival materials come together at the sixth annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar.
Serious researchers and history buffs will be able to visit a number of exhibitions, film screenings and educational sessions during the daylong event to be hosted by the USC Libraries and presented by L.A. as Subject. The latter is a research alliance of libraries, museums, archives and cultural institutions dedicated to preserving the city’s history.
More than 80 exhibitors will be part of this year’s event, including the USC Libraries Special Collections, the USC Warner Bros. Archives, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Film Archive, the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, the Wally G. Shidler Historical Collection of Southern California Ephemera, the Japanese American National Museum, the Boyle Heights Historical Society, the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the Filipino American Library, the Los Angeles City Archives, and the presidential libraries of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
The participating archives are a sampling of the more than 200 institutions and individuals that take part in L.A. as Subject. The association is dedicated to preserving and improving access to archives and collections that document the history of Los Angeles’ diverse peoples, languages, cultures and geography.
This year’s featured speaker is Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, an authoritative observer of Southern California’s urban environment. He has served as a contributing editor for Metropolis and a frequent contributor to The New York Times.
Hawthorne will discuss classic books about Los Angeles architecture and urbanism that were written between 1927 and 2007 by authors Reyner Banham, Mike Davis and D. J. Waldie. He also will share his perspective regarding the relevance of the authors’ ideas.
The documentary 41st & Central: The Untold Stories of the L.A. Black Panthers will be screened at this year’s event. The film explores the complex legacy of the Southern California chapter of the Black Power organization. In addition, a trailer for the upcoming film Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle will be shown. Director Phillip Rodriguez will be on hand to discuss his film on Salazar, the 20th-century Mexican-American journalist who chronicled the radical Chicano movement.
Moreover, three educational sessions - “Researching L.A. 101,” “On the Record: Getting Started With Oral History” and “Historypin: Pulling Photography Into the Fourth Dimension” - are designed to share new techniques for uncovering and presenting several stories about the Southland.
Three panel discussions featuring authors and other experts in regional history will highlight themes from Southern California’s past:
- “Ready for Its Close-Up: L.A. in the Movies” will focus on Los Angeles as a filming location in cinema and television. Film historian John Bengtson and documentarian Jon Wilkman will discuss how such filming has shaped perceptions of Los Angeles around the world.
- In “Lalo Guerrero: The Music of Chicano Music,” Guerrero’s son, Dan, will share stories about his father and the legacy of his Mexican-American heroes.
- In “West Coast/West Wing: The Nixon and Reagan Presidential Libraries,” two archivists - Gregory Cumming (Richard Nixon) and Michael Duggan (Ronald Reagan) - will discuss some of the unique materials in their respective libraries and how they are linked to Southern California.
Several of the participating archives have contributed to a new online collaboration between L.A. as Subject and public television station KCET.
Every Thursday on KCET’s SoCal Focus blog, L.A. as Subject explores a topic from the city’s history through unique archived images. This collaboration, which began in January, highlights the role that archives play in preserving and interpreting our region’s past.
The sixth annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar will take place in Doheny Memorial Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.
For more information about the bazaar's programming or for a list of exhibitors, please see the following brochure: