LA as Subject

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

Los Angeles Public Library, History and Genealogy Department

History and Genealogy Department, Los Angeles Public Library
Central Library, 630 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Contact: Glen Creason, Map Librarian
Phone: 213-228-7400
Fax: 213-228-7419

Institution Type: Library

Web site:

Archives and Collections

In the collections of the History and Genealogy Department at the Los Angeles Public Library are a variety of materials relating to the history of Los Angeles. The History Collection includes the California Subject and Biography Index, a retrospective card file and current computer database indexing selected citations on Los Angeles places and people from newspapers, magazines, and books. The Map Collection features historic street guides of Los Angeles, historic maps of Los Angeles on aperture cards, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps of California’s cities, United States Geological Survey topographical maps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration nautical charts. The Photograph Collections include the Security Pacific National Bank archive, which comprises three hundred forty thousand images of Los Angeles, some dating back to the 1880s; the Los Angeles Herald Examiner Photograph Collection, which consists of the newspaper’s morgue of 2.5 million photographs; and the Shades of L.A. archive, which contains ten thousand photographs representing the full range of contemporary and historic ethnic and cultural diversity in the greater Los Angeles region.

Regions Covered: Los Angeles Metro area

Type of Materials: Books, Diaries/Journals/Personal Papers, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Institutional Publications, Institutional Records, Maps, Microfiche/Microfilm, Newspapers, Oral Histories, Photographs, Prints/Posters, Rare Books, Serials, Unprocessed/Unknown

Time Periods: Pre-1848, 1848-1899, 1900-1920, 1921-1949, 1950-1963, 1964-1980, 1981-Present

Languages: English

Sectors of the Population: Multiethnic


Catalog System: Dewey Decimal, not all materials catalogued
Repository/Depository: Yes
Exhibited: Yes
Makes Purchases: Yes
Formalized Purchases: Yes
Outreach: Brochures/Flyers/Pamphlets, Class Visits, Conferences/Conventions, Exhibitions, Internet, Library Events, Mailings, Meetings, Public Lectures & Programs, Radio/TV/Video, Word of Mouth