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Photo Collection FAQs

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What images are on the Web?

What images are NOT on the Web?

How big is the Photo Collection and what is in it?

Can I browse the Photo Collection?

How can I view photos that are not online?

How do I order images?

I have a tight deadline.  What’s the quickest way to get photographs sent to me?

How do I pay for my purchase?

Can I order online?

I’m working on a project and need to make an appointment to see photographs.

I want to hang large photographs on the wall of my business.  How do I order my choices and what sizes are available?

I’m ordering large prints for framing.  Will the photos be high quality resolution at this size?  How can I be sure they won’t be grainy when the lab enlarges them?

I don’t think I need to order a print for my project—I’ll just frame the Web image or use it for my book.  I can just pick it off the Web and then send you the money for usage.  Is that okay?

I want to talk to a real person!

I can’t find what I am looking for in the online database.  What information do I include in my e-mail or telephone message?

Where does the Library get its photos?

 

What images are on the Web?

All web images have been carefully selected to represent the history of the growth of Los Angeles and California as well as Southern California life. The photos include frequently requested subjects. Examples of what you will find include community names, people's names, and specific subjects such as major crimes, demonstrations, politics and sports events.

What images are NOT on the Web?

A large percentage of the photos from the Herald Examiner and Security Pacific collections are not on the Web.  Many of these are very similar to images selected for the Web. Many of the Herald Examiner photos are “wire service” photos which the Library cannot post since they did not originate at the Herald Examiner and are the property of the originating wire service.  The Library continues to evaluate and add photos as they are cataloged.

How big is the Photo Collection and what is in it?

See the Photo Collection Overview for an in-depth profile of the Photo Collection.  More than 60,000 images are available online.  The Library continues to add photos as they are cataloged.

Can I browse the Photo Collection?

All library users can search the online database.  The photo collection itself is not available for patron browsing. 

How can I view photos that are not online?

Patrons with specific needs beyond what is available on the Web can discuss their project goals with a staff member to determine whether anything in the collection will complement the project. Visit the Ask a Question page and fill out the form or call the telephone number.  A staff member will normally respond within 2 business days with more information.

How do I order images?

Select the Order Form (PDF Format) link.   Print the form.  Include the photo order number provided in each record. Include payment in advance with a check drawn on a United States bank or credit card.  Mail the order to the address provided on the order form. 

I have a tight deadline.  What’s the quickest way to get photographs sent to me?

Orders can be sent most promptly if the Library’s order form is filled out carefully, the correct amount of money is sent, and the request is for digital images to be e-mailed to you.  Extra services such as re-scanning or creation of prints will require additional time.  The Photo Collection staff does not provide “rush services.”  Requests are filled in the order received.

How do I pay for my purchase?

Payment is made by a check drawn on a United States bank or credit card.

Can I order online?

No.  Payment by check or credit card information must accompany the order.

I’m working on a project and need to make an appointment to see photographs.

The Library requests that you first search the online database.  Images that reflect frequent requests on Los Angeles history topics have been put online as an aid for researchers.  Images include major landmarks, buildings, streets, communities, sports, personalities and events.  Most of these images are pre-1987.

I want to hang large photographs on the wall of my business.  How do I order my choices and what sizes are available?

Print and complete the Library’s order form, and include the specs you are looking for.  If you are getting a digital image, The Library charges you for the "Higher Res Rescan" plus the current commercial usage fee for category "Commercial decor, per image, basic fee for one time use" per photograph.  If you are getting a digital print from the library, the cost is  a $30 set up fee plus 10 cents per Sq. In. of printing, plus the usage fee.   The Library does not provide shipping services for oversize prints, they must be picked-up.

I’m ordering large prints or high-res digital images for framing.  Will the photos be high quality resolution at this size?  How can I be sure they won’t be grainy?

The library cannot predict the quality outcome when images are printed at large sizes.  Historical photographs vary in quality but because they are historic, enlarging them rarely takes away their charm and interest.  Please note that some original images are very small so extreme enlargement may create a grainy effect.

I don’t think I need to order a print for my project—I’ll just frame the web image or use it for my book.  I can just pick it off the Web and then send you the money for usage.  Is that okay?

The quality of the images on the Web is not intended for reproduction, but for student use and others' use in evaluating the image for reproduction.

The Library wants patrons to use the best quality images in their projects because they represent the archive and the quality of material the Library provides to the public. The only exception to this is for student usage in class assignments.

I want to talk to a real person!

Use the Ask a Question link.  Fill out the form or call the telephone number.  A staff member will normally respond to your query within 2 business days.

I can’t find what I am looking for in the online database.  What information do I include in my e-mail or telephone message?

Please include the subjects or topics already checked in the Library’s Photo Database.  Any additional information such as date, location, subject, personalities involved, the name of the event or object will be helpful in searching.  A photo collection staff member will normally respond within 2 business days.

Where does the Library get its photos?

See the Photo Collection Overview for an explanation of how the Library photo collection was developed.

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