The University of Southern California is but one of many institutions, libraries and archives that hold materials related to the study of Los Angeles and Southern California. The institutions listed on this page are a select few. For additional institutions please consult:
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-The Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive
The Library holds comprehensive research collections, posters, screenplays, and photographs. The Archive is dedicated to motion picture preservation, restoration, exhibition and study.
Automobile Club of Southern California
The documents and pictorial materials in the archive relate not only to the organization’s history but also to local and regional architecture, infrastructure, public policy making, and cultural and recreational history.
Autry National Center Institute for the Study of the American West
The Autry Library collects books, sound recordings, and printed materials related to the history, geography, fine arts, and material, popular and consumer culture of the American West. Archival materials and artifacts related to Los Angeles cover Spanish California, and Southern California history, tourism, and industry.
California State University, Northridge – Oviatt Library Special Collections and Archives
Major holdings include labor and guild History, politics, minority and ethnic studies, women’s studies and the history of the San Fernando Valley.
The Library’s collections include a vast number of materials on railroad history, institutional history, and photographic collections.
Los Angeles City Archives & Records Center - you must call ahead to make an appointment: (213) 473-8449
Operates the City Records Center (CRC) for the off site storage of inactive departmental records and the City Archives for the permanent retention of the City’s historical records.
The City Council files from 1940 - 1979 - indexed online
The City Council files from 1980 - present - indexed online and contains digitized council documents from approximately 2008-present.
City Planning Department Records - you must call the Planning Department's Automated Records Unit at (213) 978-1259 to obtain box numbers for the files related to the property of interest. Once you have secured the box numbers call to schedule your visit
Los Angeles Public Library, Central Branch-History & Genealogy Department
Major holdings include the California File, a photographic collection, newspapers, a genealogical collection, telephone directories and maps.
Loyola Marymount University - The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the
Study of Los Angeles Research Collection
Major holdings of the collection include papers of public officials, real estate and industrial developers; reformers and reform movement, prominent Roman Catholic families, and other related materials.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County - Seaver Center for Western History Research
Historic records include manuscript materials, books, serials, posters, prints, and photographs documenting the history of the trans-Mississippi West , Southern California and Los Angeles.
Southern California Library (SCL)
The SCL documents and preserves the histories of communities in struggle for justice and uses its collections to address the challenges of the present.
University of California, Los Angeles-Special Collections
Archival materials include papers of Southern California authors, collections related to Southern California architecture, Asian American history, particularly the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Archive is dedicated to motion picture preservation, restoration, exhibition and study.