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Peek in the Stacks: special collections

Is Little America on Your Bucket List?

US Navy pilot and Medal of Honor recipient Admiral Richard E. Byrd led several expeditions to Antarctica over approximately 30 years. From 1928-1930 he led the first expedition to reach the South Pole by air. Byrd would return several times, with his third, fourth, and fifth expeditions funded by the US government and supported by US Navy personnel, vessels ...

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Les Surréalistes

The surrealist movement began in Europe in the years immediately following World War I. Surrealist artists and writers strove to create works that were illogical, or that expressed the unconscious mind, often through use of surprising elements and unexpected juxtapositions. While some of its most famed members are artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte....

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Frank W. Bireley Co.'s Local Orange Industry Innovation

Frank W. Bireley was born in Los Angeles in 1899. He went to school in Hollywood before graduating and going north to attend school at Stanford University. While in Northern California he looked for ways to fund his education, and started selling fresh squeezed orange juice to his fellow students to help pay his Stanford tuition. His juice business took off and ...

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Delilah L. Beasley and the Trail She Blazed

Delilah Leontium Beasley was born on September 9, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio to parents Daniel and Margaret. She attended segregated Cincinnati public schools, and by the age of twelve had begun to write and publish short social notices in the local black newspapers and some white newspapers, such as...

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"How do I love thee?"

This week’s blog is inspired by Valentine’s Day. In the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th, and traditionally involves the giving and receiving of cards, gifts, or flowers, the reciting of poems, the singing of songs, or similar expressions of love and friendship. While we don't usually equate Special Collections and Archives with Valentine's Day, keep reading...you might be surpised!

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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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Perspectives on "Coming Out"

Many members of the LGBTQ+ community are faced with challenges when it comes to sharing truths about their sexual and/or gender identities, sometimes known as "coming out of the closet". Coming out can be very difficult and in some cases can have extreme consequences. One of the most common negative outcomes is backlash or rejection from loved ones, friends, colleagues...

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Please Pass the Cranberries

This week's blog post explores several cookbooks from our Culinary Collection, focusing on one main ingredient—cranberries. The cranberry is an indigenous fruit to North America growing in the colder northern regions.  In 1815, American commercial cranberry harvesting began in Massachusetts.  At present...

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Chapbook Collection

Chapbooks are small books that were sold on the street for a penny or less from the 17th century to the 19th century. Publishers created the books with cheap materials and with woodcut illustrations that often didn't relate to the subject matter. People of the lower socioeconomic classes could afford to read literature printed in them...

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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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