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Peek in the Stacks: los angeles

Window to the World

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the god condemned to hold up the heavens for eternity. In modern culture, we think of an atlas as collection of maps, usually bound, that can be a window to the world packed with colorful maps and guides. In Special Collections and Archives, we have many interesting atlases, including...

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Maps of Greater Los Angeles

Special Collections and Archives has a wide variety of maps, many of which are part of archival collections. To understand maps, we must understand their meaning and sometimes their intended use. The maps selected here demonstrate how different areas of greater Los Angeles have developed over the years. Some maps demonstrate changes in demographics, while others illustrate various infrastructure projects that have been in the works over time, creating new neighborhoods, freeways, parks, commercial, and residential areas. Some maps are magnifications of specific areas, while others contain broader information that reveals...

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Four Walls, a Roof, and Neighbors in Close Proximity: Shared Living Spaces in Early 20th Century Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ population rapidly grew in the early 20th century, partially due to the efforts of boosters and the nascent film industry. The Official Los Angeles Key from December 1913 described the city as a space where "opportunity clasps hands with ambition, while enterprise and success are the twin virtues that lure the man of moderate means, as well as the capitalist..."

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A Look Back at 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 (LAUSD) 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 LAUSD exercised discriminatory attendance boundary practices...

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Celebrating Black History in LA

In honor of Black History Month, this week’s blog post highlights just a few African Americans who have contributed to the development and culture of the City of Los Angeles. These figures have roots embedded deep in the history of Los Angeles, some well before California was even part of the United States. Special Collections and Archives holds many interesting items that capture this history...

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A Look Back at the Sylmar Earthquake

This week marks the 47th anniversary of the Sylmar Earthquake. Many details of that difficult time are documented in the Duane Georgeson Papers, held in Special Collections and Archives. Duane Georgeson was a twelve-year veteran of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power...

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The Retail Clerks Union Local 770 Scrapbook Collection

The Retail Clerks Union Local 770 Scrapbook Collection explores the organization's activities beginning in 1942 through 1959. Local 770 worked to secure rights, negotiate wages, resolve contract disagreements for California-based retail employees and actively supported women’s rights, fair pay for minorities, labor legislation, and general employment concerns of the surrounding community...

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The Mimi Melnick Collection

The Mimi Melnick Collection documents Mimi Melnick's personal and professional life, most significantly her influence over the emergence of jazz as a legitimate area of academic study and her role in the development and promotion of jazz in the Los Angeles area between 1958 ...

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America First: Variations on a Theme

"America First" is a phrase that's been uttered with increased frequency over the past year. Under the current presidential administration, the phrase is used to describe a group of policies focused on American interests and American national security, with an emphasis on defeating terror groups, strengthening the US military, building diplomatic relationships, and....

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