Over at the LAPL Photo Collection, we were full steam ahead as always in 2014; processing collections, digitizing photos, acquiring new collections, mounting exhibits, coordinating programs, and assisting patrons with research and orders.
The Los Angeles Public Library has been the custodian of the photo collection from the Valley Times newspaper (1946-1970) for over thirty years, since receiving as part of the donation from the Security Pacific National Bank in 1981.
When I first started researching the life of 1930s/40s film star Ann Dvorak back in 1998, the Internet was around but there wasn’t much to be found on her.
On October 3, 1993, Central Library opened its doors to the people of Los Angeles for the first time in over seven years. Originally designed by Bertram G. Goodhue, the building had been a Los Angeles icon since its dedication in 1926, with striking architecture and artwork both inside and out.
In the early 1960s, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy symbolized hope, change, and the dawn of a new era for a country that was caught in the clutches of Cold War fear, and in many cases, clinging to certain outdated social attitudes.
Since taking over the Photo Collection nearly four years ago, there are two questions I get asked most. The first is, “Do you have any photos of my house?” If your residence is named Pickfair or was once owned by Gloria Swanson, then yes, we probably do.
Los Angeles in the late 1930s was a city in transition. It was suffering through the Great Depression with the rest of the country, but forging ahead with progress. Old Chinatown and La Grande Station were being erased, but Union Station and a New Chinatown would soon emerge.