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Peek in the Stacks: archives

The LA River

Have you ever wondered about that large cement canal running through the San Fernando Valley, past Griffith Park, east of downtown Los Angeles, and eventually to the sea, emptying into the Port of Long Beach? We still call it a river, the LA River. Originally, the river flowed freely along the alluvial flood plain that is now Los Angeles and Long Beach. There was rarely a set course for the river and flooding was common...

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Jewish Experiences in China during World War II

Rampant antisemitism in Europe in the years prior to World War II caused many Jews to seek refuge in countries outside of Europe, including in China. Once settled, Jews were deemed "stateless" because of antisemitism in their countries of origin, like Germany and Russia. As a result...

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Activism in the Archives

Activists often gather information to support their causes, and communicate that information to larger audiences to acquire support, a process that just might begin with a peek in the stacks. Archival materials in numerous collections held in Special Collections & Archives give potential activists an opportunity to recognize patterns and identify the causes of recurring phenomena, especially institutional ....

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The Infinite Forms of Music

Reginald Smith Brindle lived from 1917-2003, and is best known for his compositions for the guitar, but he also composed for a variety of other instruments. He was advocate and supporter of modern music that swept throughout the world in the second half of the twentieth century. This music was characterized by a shift away from formal structure of music to more abstract forms...

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The Violet Atkins Klein Papers

In 1999, the Violet Atkins Klein Papers were donated to Special Collections and Archives by Klein's daughter, Jill Block. Professionally known as Violet Atkins or Vi to her friends, the collection documents Klein's professional writings, including novels, short fiction, and scripts for radio and television. It demonstrates the many phases....

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Tolerance and Community: Virginia Prince and Transvestia Magazine

Vern Bullough, in the manuscript draft for his book Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context, called Virginia Prince "the founder of the transgender movement." Prince was not the only activist for the movement, but she was an important early activist working to change misleading public perceptions through outreach ...

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‘Spaghetti Letters’

On the corner of Nordhoff Street and Zelzah Avenue is one of CSUN’s most recognized landmarks, the CSUN 'Spaghetti Letters' sign. After two years of planning, five months of construction, and $12,000, the sculpture designed and built by graduate student John T. Banks stood complete. The impetus for the sign was the official enaming of the campus from San Fernando Valley State College ...

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John M. Sell Civil War Collection

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, John M. Sell enlisted in the 83rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers on July 29, 1861. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on August 27 of that year, and promoted to Captain on September 4, 1862. After fighting in numerous battles over two years, Sell was shot in the left leg on July 2, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. In one of the most commonly-performed medical procedures of the war, a ...

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Deeds, Not Words: Women's Organizations and Loyalty Oaths

World War II ended in 1945, but victory soon turned to an uneasy peace, as long running tensions between once Allied nations surfaced in what became known as the Cold War. The tensions between Communist Russia and the democratic United States are referred to as a Cold War, since animosity between the two took shape in the form of proxy wars and political maneuvering, rather than prolonged violent fighting between the two countries...

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The Carl S. Dentzel Collection

The Carl S. Dentzel Collection documents the work and influence of Dentzel throughout his lifetime as a journalist and a community activist, including the renaming of the city of Northridge, coverage of the conflicts abroad between the U.S., Central America, South America, and Europe, and his work with organizations such as the Cultural Heritage Board of the City of Los Angeles, Museum Alliance of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural...

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