Previously Hidden L.A. History Collections Now Available

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/17/12

Thanks to a 2009 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), the USC Libraries recently created online finding aids for 27 archival collections covering diverse aspects of Southern California history. Among the highlights of the Excavating L.A. project are the papers of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department, which investigated the 1991 beating of Rodney King, and the Webster Commission, which investigated the civil unrest that followed the 1992 acquittal of the four LAPD officers charged with the King beating. Other collections include rare materials documenting the Bunker Hill Redevelopment and Century Freeway projects, women's voting rights activist Amy Ransome, and the vast photo morgue of the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper.

Rare postcards from the Amy C. Ransome collection

Assistant head of the USC Libraries' special collections Dace Taube was awarded the $160,000 grant under CLIR's Hidden Collections program. Archivists Rebecca Hirsch, Michael Hooks, Susan Luftschein, Jackie Morin, and Katie Richardson and project manager Deborah Holmes-Wong all contributed to the success of the project.

On April 29, 2013, the libraries will present Los Angeles Burning: Memory, Justice, and the 1992 Riots as part of USC's Visions and Voices initiative. The event features a discussion with Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan, and filmmaker Dae Hoon Kim. USC Dornsife College history professor Phil Ethington will moderate.

In addition, materials from the previously hidden L.A. history collections are already being consulted by researchers for a number of upcoming projects. For example, materials from the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project records will appear in Never Built: Los Angeles, which opens in March at the A+D Museum.

By the conclusion of Excavating L.A. in October, USC Libraries archivists created online finding aids for the following L.A. history collections. Follow the links to learn more about the contents of each collection:

·      Lillian I. Allard Collection of California Postcards: Vintage picture postcards dating from the 1890s to the 1950s.

·      Alphonzo Bell Papers: Bell (1914-2004) was a United States Congressman representing the 27th and 28th Congressional Districts from 1961-1977.

·      Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project records: Legal documents, studies, and documentation for the 1955 project to modernize downtown L.A.

·      Century Freeway Collection: Records from the L.A.'s Century Freeway, which was completed in 1993 after 35 years of construction.

·      Paul Christopher Collection of Carl W. Knight's Photographs: Scenic images of California and Missouri from the 1920s to the 1970s.

·      K. Garrison Clarke Collection: 128 black and white reprints of images taken by K. Garrison Clarke between 1948 and 1975. Most of the images are taken in and around Los Angeles County.

·      Jackie Coogan Ranch Records: In the mid-1920s, Jackie Coogan Productions purchased a cattle ranch near San Diego for child actor Jackie Coogan. The collection contains correspondence and financial documents related to the ranch between 1924 and 1936.

·      Crawford et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Los Angeles et al. Records: Records from the California Supreme Court case in which the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was ordered to formulate a feasible plan to desegregate its schools.

·      William H. Dubay Papers: In 1966, William H. DuBay was suspended from the Los Angeles Archdiocese for criticizing the Roman Catholic Church. The collection includes materials related to DuBay's tenure as a priest.

·      Houston Flournoy Papers: Papers of the former California comptroller and Republican gubernatorial candidate, who lost to Governor Jerry Brown in the 1974 election.

·      Homefront Records: Records and film reels for the critically-acclaimed 1984 series The Homefront: America during World War II.

·      KNXT Channel 2 Collection: Press releases and related materials from the Los Angeles CBS television affiliate now known as KCBS.

·      Los Angeles Bureau of Municipal Research Collection: Reports, surveys, and maps by the office about land use and economic issues from 1928-1981.

·      Richard Ralf Manuscripts: Music manuscripts and papers of the German composer Richard K. Ralf, who emigrated to Los Angeles in 1946.

·      Ralph Story Outtakes and Television Programs:  The collection includes outtake reels from the television show Ralph Story's Los Angeles and footage from the 1971-1972 season of the show Story in Hollywood. 

·      Amy C. Ransome Collection: Correspondence, clippings, bulletins, photographs, and articles related to women's suffrage from 1884-1949.

·      Lynn Schenk Papers: Speeches, correspondence, and papers related to the former California representative.

·      Michael Several Collection of Los Angeles Public Art: A comprehensive selection of documentary materials on murals and public art in Los Angeles.

·      Shirley Adelson Siegel Papers: Includes publications, press releases, correspondence, meeting agendas and minutes, and supplemental materials related to Siegel’s work on affordable housing and urban redevelopment.

·      Warren Steinberg Papers: Correspondence, records, and documents related to civil rights activist Warren Steinberg. The collection focuses on his involvement in the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission.

·      Catherine Stern Collection: Papers and records belonging to Catherine G. Stern (1910-2010), an L.A.-based social activist for civil and human rights.

·      Gregory Freeman Stone Collection on the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination:  The collection includes files accumulated by Gregory Freemen Stone during his investigation into the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

·      Webster Commission Papers: Interviews, reports, LAPD documents, and other records from the Webster Commission's investigation into the causes of the 1992 L.A. riots.

·      Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department Records: Papers from the investigation led by the late Warren Christopher into the culture and policing practices of the LAPD in the wake of the 1991 Rodney King beating.

·      Household Survey Records: Records from the 1939 household survey of the Los Angeles area funded by the Works Progress Administration. The collection includes 400,000 documents, largely consisting of census cards.

·      Milner Family Films, Papers, and Photographs: Business records, travel and home movies, photographs, and even recipes from the Milner family, who were involved in running the Lewellyn Iron Works and the Milner Oil Company.

·      Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner Photographs, Negatives, and Clippings -- Subject Files: The subject files (comprising 9,000 file folders) included in the photo morgue of the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper. The files preserved stock images related to a host of topics, places, and events covered by the paper.

·      Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner Photographs, Negatives, and Clippings -- Portrait Files (A-F): The portrait files from the Los Angeles Examiner photo morgue. The files included 53,000 file folders of portraits and snapshots of people covered by the paper. This finding aid covers last names A-F.

·      Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner Photographs, Negatives, and Clippings -- Portrait Files (G-M): The portrait files from the Los Angeles Examiner photo morgue. The files included 53,000 file folders of portraits and snapshots of people covered by the paper. This finding aid covers last names G-M.

·      Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner Photographs, Negatives, and Clippings -- Portrait Files (N-Z): The portrait files from the Los Angeles Examiner photo morgue. The files included 53,000 file folders of portraits and snapshots of people covered by the paper. This finding aid covers last names N-Z.

·      Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner Photographs, Negatives, and Clippings -- Oversize Portrait and Subject Files: The oversize portrait files from the Los Angeles Examiner photo morgue. The files included 3,800 folders of prints larger than 8 x 10.

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