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Documenting Los Angeles History: Home

A guide to the archival collections -- related to Los Angeles history and culture -- selected for the NHPRC-funded Documenting Los Angeles History project.

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To learn more about the Documenting Los Angeles History project, please contact Melinda Hayes at



Thanks to a $110,560 grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) in 2009, USC archivists are creating online finding aids for 54 archival collections related to the cultural history of Los Angeles. Areas of focus include American literature, Latino studies, film history, Los Angeles and California history, and the performing arts. You can see the results of the project by searching the libraries' HOMER catalog or by visiting the USC Special Collections' Web site or the Online Archive of California, where you can view detailed descriptions of newly processed collections of L.A. historical materials.

Some of the interesting collections processed include the John A. Sanborn Papers, the Gladwin Hill Kennedy Assassinations Investigations Papers, the Leonard Wibberley Papers, the Eugene Biscailuz Scrapbook Collection, the James Arkatov Photograph Collection, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Collection, and the Richard Lert PapersPrincipal Investigator Melinda Hayes is Head of the USC Special Collections. She is joined by project manager Jackie Morin and project archivist Rebecca Hirsch. Through this project LibGuide, we will provide links to newly completed online finding aids and additional resources related to Documenting Los Angeles History.  


October 1, 2009: Documenting Los Angeles History project officially underway

November 19, 2009: Project archivist Rebecca Hirsch joins USC Libraries staff

April 28, 2010: Finding aids for 22 archival collections available

September 30, 2011: Conclusion of the Documenting Los Angeles History project

To be announced: USC Libraries exhibition featuring materials from Documenting Los Angeles History