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Peek in the Stacks: archives

Detective E. B. Mortensen Daily Reports Collection

 While it is undoubtedly so today, crime has been a part of everyday life in Los Angeles for more than a century. Scholars in numerous disciplines might use crime-related statistics when examining a variety of social, political, and economic trends, historical events, or notable individuals. Today...

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Slavery and the Law

 Laws protect the rights of a nation's citizens, but with regards to American slavery, were used as a tool to advance both pro- and anti-slavery efforts. Our understanding of the arc of American slavery and its aftermath is informed, in part, by the push and pull of laws that mark shifting social, political and economic environments. For instance, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 added Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state...

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Early Los Angeles History

Many consider Los Angeles a relatively young city, with a unique but primarily 20th century history.  Special Collections and Archives holds several resources that document LA's  earlier, 19th century history, especially the years immediately following the Mexican-American War, and California's early statehood. One of these resources is the Los Angeles Assessor's Book (Duplicado del Libro de Avaluos), dated 1854, in which Los ....

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Milton Geiger Collection

 Milton Geiger wrote radio and television scripts as well as motion picture plays, theater plays, and short stories, some of which were performed or directed by Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Lorne Greene, and Richard Dreyfuss. The Milton Geiger Papers document his writing career from 1938 particularly the creative development and research he did in scriptwriting...

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Mothers in the Archives

Most countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. This year, Mother’s Day is on May 12th. There are many ways to celebrate our mothers. In the United States, many of us buy flowers, candy, jewelry, or create something to show appreciation. However, throughout history, there have been political and cultural events that have shaped this tradition...

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The Crescendo

The International Guitar Research Archives (IGRA) holds some of the earliest articles ever published about the classical guitar, dating back to 1908. One of IGRA’s most noteworthy publications is The Crescendo: A Monthly Publication Devoted to the Interests of the Harp, Mandolin, Guitar, and Banjo, and Kindred Instruments. This monthly magazine was produced by the American Guild ....

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The Raymond C. Fleming Diaries

Fleming writes, "Here we are with no adequate guns or defenses, and trying to work as usual . . . If we put up a defense everyone will be killed, + we will put up a defense. I have a machete ready in the office." Later that same day, he learned they'd have a "blackout every nite, + no matches even are allowed..."

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Bud and Louise

On March 14, 1947, a yacht in Newport Harbor exploded with two people aboard, Walter Overell, a wealthy businessman, and his wife, Beulah. Both were seemingly killed by the blast, and the yacht sank to the ocean floor. While the initial report suggested the explosion might have been caused by an engine malfunction and leaking gasoline, it was soon discovered that the blast was actually caused by dynamite....

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School Desegregation and Busing in Los Angeles

In 1961, Mary Ellen Crawford, an African-American teen, attempted to enroll at South Gate High School, the closest high school to her home. The Los Angeles Unified School District refused her request, and directed her to enroll at the more-distant Jordan High School. Jordan’s student body was 99% African-American, while South Gate High's was 98% caucasian. Crawford's parents filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that the Los Angeles Unified School District exercised discriminatory attendance boundary practices....

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Lectures in the Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Collection

The Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Collection consists primarily of scores and correspondence, which may cause some of its smaller parts to go unnoticed by researchers. One of these interesting parts is a small series of lectures concentrating on the guitar's history, pedagogy, and even some of Vahdah's philosophy.  These lectures outline many of her ideas on music and the guitar...

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