Resources In Southern California
The greater Los Angeles metropolitan area is home to a number of well-known and renowned archival and library collections of manuscripts, oral histories, rare books, and social science materials that are available to scholars at USC.
California State University, Long Beach. The Oral History Project at CSULB maintains a growing collection of materials on Southern California.
- Ethnic Studies includes interviews with American Indians, Afro-Americans, Asian Americans and Chicanos/Latinos.
- Labor History Collection includes interviews with recognized labor leaders, more obscure labor activists, and a special project on the desegregation of the LA labor movement.
- Long Beach Area History includes interviews with longtime Long Beach residents, including how the discovery of oil in 1921 impacted the subsequent development of the city.
- Music Collection focuses on the 1930s to the 1950s, with particular emphasis on the émigré experience. It includes oral histories of over ninety composers, performers, and educators in Southern California.
- Southeast Asian Studies Collection consists of recorded interviews in both English and Khmer, and a few interviews of/in Vietnamese and Laotian.
- Women's Studies Collection. In addition to the major collection of interviews with southern California WWII defense workers or who served in the military during WWII, there are life histories interviews that document the daily life of ordinary women dating back to the early part of the twentieth century. Another significant cluster of interviews document the development of the women's liberation movement in LA, including Chicana and Asian-American activists.
- Special Collections and Archives. Special Collections manuscripts and rare books topics include California studies, human sexuality, the Japanese-American internment, and women in music.
- The Urban Archives Center of Greater Los Angeles, located in CSU's Special Collections and Archives. The Center collects the records of public and governmental organizations, as well as historically significant records of voluntary associations, local political figures and prominent citizens that have directed growth in LA since the beginning of the twentieth century. Major themes in the collection are growth and development, education, journalism, labor and guild history, minority and ethnic studies, politics, social service agencies, and women.
- Geography Map Library. The Geography Map Library possesses approximately three hundred fifty thousand flat map sheets as well as numerous atlases, aerial photographs, gazetteers, and geographic teaching aids. It is a depository library for the United States Geological Survey, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, and Natural Resources Canada. Among the holdings are topographic maps of California and other states; general and thematic maps for the United States and the world, including road, city, tourist, and geological maps; atlases and gazetteers, such as Atlas of California, California Water Atlas, Sanborn Fire Insurance atlases dating from the 1880s. Aerial photographs cover all of LA County.
UCLA Library Department of Special Collections. Collections and services are managed by the following divisions: Manuscripts, Prints, Photographs, and Maps; The Oral History Program; Public Services; Publications; Rare Books; and the UCLA University Archives.
- California holdings provide resources to study the entire history and development of the state and the rise of southern California, particularly LA, through a variety of collections. The department has manuscript materials for the study of California, including documents from the Mexican period, and papers from the 1840s on. Materials collected for historical research include deeds, correspondence, journals, and business records, including many interconnected activities in the development of California and LA: agriculture, architecture and landscape architecture, the book trade and fine printing, civic development, civil liberties, crime, education, journalism, labor relations, local politics and reform, the motion picture and television industries, real estate developments, water resources, and special events in the region, such as the 1932 and 1984 Olympic games.
- The Center for Oral History Research documents the history of LA and selected projects that are national and international in scope. The program conducts audiotaped interviews, sometimes supplemented by video segments, of persons selected for their ability to provide first-hand observations on a variety of historical topics, principally related to metropolitan LA.
UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library. The History & Special Collections Division of the Biomedical Library contains close to 28,000 rare books. A 23,000-volume secondary support collection provides in-depth interpretation for the primary materials, as does the extensive history of the health science/history of biology journal collection. A large reference section provides information about the history of the sciences. The Division also collects and curates manuscripts, prints and portraits, and museum objects.
The June L. Mazer Lesbian Collection. The Mazer Collection in West Hollywood is the only archive on the West Coast dedicated exclusively to preserving lesbian history. In addition to both rare and well-known published works are personal letters and scrapbooks, artwork, manuscripts, records, newspapers, magazines, photographs, videotapes, flyers, papers of lesbian organizations, private papers among which are the Del Martin/Phyllis Lyon papers, which include the Daughters of Bilitis files, and oral histories donated from the San Francisco Lesbian Gay History Project. The Collection has a complete set of Vice Versa, the earliest known lesbian periodical, which was published in LA from 1947-1948.