LA as Subject

Collectively preserving, archiving and sharing the rich history and culture of Los Angeles

Automobile Club of Southern California

Address:
Automobile Club of Southern California
2601 South Figueroa Street, H-118
Los Angeles, CA 90007-3294
USA

Contact: Morgan Yates
Phone: 213-741-4486
E-mail:

Institution Type: Archive, Commercial Business, Community Service Organization, Trade Association

Web site: http://www.aaa-calif.com

Archives and Collections

Description:
The Automobile Club of Southern California was founded in 1900, and the records of its undertakings provide a distinctive picture of life in the region during the twentieth century. The documents and pictorial materials in the club’s archive relate not only to the club’s history but also to local and regional architecture, infrastructure, public policy making, and cultural and recreational history. The charting and mapping of Southern California’s roads began in 1906. The club’s archive contains original vellum renderings of strip maps and road maps, as well as printed maps made from these renderings, for the period 1906 to the present. These maps offer a continuous, definitive record of the development of roadways and roadside services in the region. Since 1909, the club has published a monthly magazine focused on automotive tourism. The archived issues of Touring Topics and its successor, Westways, provide a chronicle of landscapes and destinations which includes extensive photographic coverage of the deserts and coastal regions of California, the national parks of the American West, and Hawaii. The club began to participate in discussions about transportation policy in 1909. Its activities in this area have involved independent provision of planning studies as well as commentary on public policies and programs. In 1922 the Automobile Club produced the first traffic survey of Los Angeles, and in 1937 it wrote the first detailed proposal for a regionwide freeway system. The working files for these projects constitute a rich source of material on the region. A substantial portion of the holdings documents the workings—from the board of directors to daily operations in dozens of district offices—of the Automobile Club itself.

Regions Covered: Los Angeles and other Southern California counties

Type of Materials: Architectural Drawings, Books, Cultural Artifacts, Materials & Objects, Diaries/Journals/Personal Papers, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Institutional Publications, Manuscripts, Maps, Official Records, Photographs

Time Periods: 1921-1949, 1950-1963, 1964-1980, 1981-Present

Sectors of the Population: Artistic Communities, Business, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, Community Service Organizations, Education, Politics/Government, Professional, At or Below Poverty Level, Lower to Middle Income, Middle to Upper Income

Management

Catalog System: For cataloged holdings: Photographs are in MARC based arrangements; documents are arranged in various file formats. For uncataloged holdings: Our posters are by date order; our photographs from the 1980’s to present are in alphabetical order by subject
Repository/Depository: Yes
Loan To Others: Yes
Exhibition Frequency: Not at all
Outreach: Conferences/Conventions, Directories, Public Lectures & Programs, Radio/TV/Video