Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Welcome to the Photo Collection

Greetings Photo Fans & History Buffs,

It's hard to believe that almost two years have passed since Carolyn Kozo Cole retired and I was given the opportunity to oversee the amazing Photo Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.

The LAPL Photo Collection is a vast and invaluable resource, and our top priority is digitizing as many of these images as possible. Since May 2008, over 7,200 images have been added to the LAPL Photo Database. Included in this impressive figure are images from the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Valley Times newspaper photo morgues, the Kelly-Holiday Aerial Collection, and a group of industrial images taken by contemporary photographers.

Aerial view of Hollywood, 1956 (Kelly-Holiday Collection, order# 00088580).

Decorative wall at the La Fortaleza tortilla plant in 2009 (Industrial L.A. Collection, Tom Zimmerman, order # 00087404).

There are exciting images lined-up for digitization in 2011. We're currently in the process of adding a collection by 1940s photographer, Lucille Stewart who worked for Mayor Fletcher Bowron, but also shot images around town, including many of Clifton's Cafeterias, both Brookdale and Pacific Seas. 

Musicians at Clifton's Brookdale, ca 1945 (Lucille Stewart Collection, order# 00088345).

Clifton's String Ensemble at "Pacific Seas" (Lucille Stewart Collection, order# 00088335). 
Also in the pipeline are 900 images of Wilshire Boulevard in 1978/1978, a collection of photos of Los Angeles in the 1980s & 90s as seen through the lens of local photographer Carol Westwood, and a set of appraisal photos of buildings on North Bunker Hill in the 1950s. In addition to these treasures, we'll continue to add photos from our endless well of "wow!" aka the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Valley Times collections.

Former businesses and apartments on Wilshire Boulevard in 1978 (Marlene Laskey Collection, order# 00089999).

I look forward to working with Photo Friends to bring these photos to light through programs at Central Library and online exhibits on this site. As I also work in the History & Genealogy Dept, which has been subjected to some pretty nasty budget cuts these past few years, I will be turning to Photo Friends to come up with with some creative ideas to help those collections.

2011 is going to be a great year for Photo Friends and the Photo Collection. I hope you'll be checking back hear and searching the LAPL Photo Database often.  

Christina Rice
Acting Senior Librarian
Los Angeles Public Library - Photo Collection