The Photo Collection Year in Review

Christina Rice, Senior Librarian, Photo Collection,
Group Photo in Front of Clock

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.

A rickshaw stand in China City, ca. 1939. (Herman J. Schultheis Collection)

An orangutan engages in a game of tug-o-war at the Monkey Island attraction located at 3300 Cahuenga Boulevard, ca. 1939.  (Herman J. Schultheis Collection)

Entrance to the short-lived Pine Needle Ski Slope near Ventura & Lankershim Boulevards in Studio City, ca. 1939. (Herman J. Schultheis Collection)

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.

Homes on picturesque South Bunker Hill Avenue, ca 1962. (George Mann Collection)

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.

Disneyland in 1958. (Kelly-Holiday Collection)

Aerial view of Wilshire Boulevard, including the Ambassador Hotel in 1957. (Kelly-Holiday Collection)

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.

A 1959 aerial view of the Stardust Resort and Casino, located at 3000 Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Kelly-Holiday Collection)

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.

Actress Shirley Temple arrives at the Carthay Circle Theatre with her parents for the 1939 premiere of The Little Princess. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection)

Actress Rita Hayworth autographs a slipper in 1945. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection)

“Vice Queen” Brenda Allen arrives at her 1948 pandering trial. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection)

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.

Marion Davies and Dr. Frank F. Barham, publisher of The Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express, look over some paperwork in the 1920s. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Collection)

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.