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Peek in the Stacks: urban archives

Hollywood Studio Club

In the 1920s, the film industry exploded and Hollywood became the capital of the movie business. Young women from all over the country began coming to Los Angeles to try to make it big as screen stars. In some cases, women were exploited, taken advantage of, or became embroiled in scandals due to their youth and naiveté. Seeing the need for a safe haven, the Young Women’s ...

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"Rapid Locomotion via the Rubber-shod Steeds of Steel": Early Automobile Tourism

Today many of us start a car trip by typing our destination into a phone app that charts out our course and lets us know what kind of traffic is in our future. Before navigation apps and GPS systems were available, many travelers plotted out their journeys by using paper maps and tourist guides. In the 1910s and 1920s...

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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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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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S.F.V.S.C., November 4, 1968

Unrest on campus in the mid-1960s and early 1970s left a lasting impression on San Fernando Valley State College (now CSUN). Special Collections is home to several books and archival collections that discuss this discord, including two books representing different sides of what is known on campus as...

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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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Margaret Sanger and the Women's Suffrage Movement

Margaret Sanger was one of the most influential advocates for the suffrage movement and women's rights in the twentieth century. Yet interestingly, Sanger's views on women's rights did not always coincide with the National Woman Suffrage Association and other suffrage groups that were primarily made up of middle and upper middle class white women. Sanger's early experiences as one of eleven children and her career as a visiting nurse in the slums of East Side New York...

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Community Fairs

Fairs vary in size, location, and purpose. Larger scale fairs, like state fairs, usually last for weeks or months, whereas county and neighborhood fairs typically run for a few days or weeks. Types of fairs vary from agricultural shows to those that are meant to educate local communities about different topics. Fairs vary in size and focus, but are meant to bring people together, be fun, and have an aspect of education, even if it is for self-promotion...

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The Susan B. Nelson Collection

The Susan B. Nelson Collection documents Susan Nelson's professional and personal life, most notably the fundamental role she played in the creation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The collection details the work of the Friends of the Santa Monica Mountains' Parks and Seashore and the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore Foundation, which Nelson worked with to realize the dream of an urban park for residents of the greater Los Angeles area...

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