The Photo Collection Year in Review
With the New Year looming ahead of us, it seemed like a perfect time to look back at the 2012 goings on in the Photo Collection.
As always, our top priority is getting our photos added to the online collection and into your hands (electronically speaking). This year, roughly 7,000 new images were uploaded to the LAPL website and made accessible to anyone with Internet access. Nearly one-third of these new additions came from photographer Herman J. Schultheis who traveled around Southern California in the late 1930s and seems to have always had a camera with him. LAPL acquired Schultheis’ photos in 1991, and with the help of grant funding from the Haynes Foundation, we’re close to digitizing the entire SoCal portion of the collection. So, if you need to kill a few hours, search for “Schultheis” on the LAPL Photo Collection and be whisked away to 1930s L.A., featuring places like China City, Monkey Island, and the Pine Needle Ski Slope of Studio City.
2012 was also the year LAPL was introduced to photographer George Mann, whose heirs generously donated 24 jaw-dropping color images depicting 1960s Bunker Hill prior to its massive redevelopment.
As the year went on, we forged ahead with the digitization of our Kelly-Holiday collection of mid-Century aerial images, which included bird’s views of Disneyland and the dearly departed Ambassador Hotel.
Just because we couldn’t resist, we also allowed the online collection to travel outside of California so we could post some brilliant Kelly-Holiday shots of Las Vegas in the 1950s.
Every year for us is a Los Angeles Herald Examiner Year as we continued chipping away at this “newspaper photo morgue,” which is our biggest collection. This year’s offerings from the defunct, but legendary newspaper range from sweet, to sultry, to salacious as we uploaded, among many subjects, photos of Shirley Temple, Rita Hayworth, and notorious madam Brenda Allen.
This was also the year we dove into the countless boxes of Marion Davies photos in the Herald Examiner Collection. The newspaper heavily promoted Davies, the well-known companion of Herald publisher William Randolph Hearst and we have now digitized Marion, the actress and philanthropist, as Herald photographers captured her over the course of five decades.
Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman, new UCLA Chancellor Franklin Murphy, Marion Davies, Los Angeles County Supervisor Ernest Debs, and Dr. Stafford L. Warren at the groundbreaking of the new Marion Davies Children's Wing at UCLA Medical Center in 1960. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection)
Not everything we do in the Photo Collection is limited to the online world. 2012 saw the launching of an exhibit space in the History & Genealogy Department at Central Library. So far, the space has hosted two exhibits, Edited for Publication: Photographic Manipulations in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, curated by librarian Olivian Cha, and How We Worked, How We Played: Herman Schultheis and Los Angeles in the 1930s. Stay tuned for additional exhibits in 2013 featuring images from the LAPL Photo Collection.
With the help of our fantastic support group Photo Friends, we presented eleven programs in 2012 relating to photography or Los Angeles history. Topics included silent film locations in the downtown area, a look back at the 1992 Riots, photos taken at San Diego Comic-Con, along with presentations focused on the works of photographers William Reagh and George Mann. 2013 is already shaping up to be just as busy for Photo Friends!
Finally, we’d like to taken a moment to give some much-needed recognition to the men and women behind the curtain who make all this wonderful photo magic happen. After all, 7,000 images do not digitize and catalog themselves! Hats off to photo staffers Terri Garst & Fernando Saucedo, interns Zoey Smith & Christine Adolph, volunteer Christine Ha, reference librarian Pamela Quon, catalogers Kim Creighton & Maria Novoa, contract cataloger Charlene Nichols, webmaster Matthew Mattson, and scanning technicians Evelyn & Cindy, Carmen Tenchavez, Moonsik Jun, Cesar Espinoza, and Moises Roldan.
And thanks to you, Photo Fans, for your continued support. Looking forward to bringing you more from the Photo Collection in 2013!