LA as Subject

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

Los Angeles Unified School District, Art and Artifact Collection/Archives

LA USD, 1330 W. Pico Blvd., Room 288
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Contact: Leslie Fischer, Curatorial and Collections Management Consultant
Phone: 213.742.8351
Fax: N/A

Institution Type: Archive, Community Organization, K-12 School, Non-profit Organization

Web site:

Archives and Collections

The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) art and artifact collection has been amassed since the opening of the first district school in 1855. The collection began to be organized in 2001 when LAUSD received a grant to hire a part time collections curator and manager.

The mission of the archives is to
(1) engage and educate the Los Angeles Community, including students, families, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as independent historians, curators, librarians, archivists, and interested parties, about the history of the LAUSD and its role within the greater community
(2) preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the LAUSD
(3) encourage the school community to become involved in the dynamic process of contributing to the Collection in ways that reflect current environments and cultures.

Objects and artworks are located at both schools and administrative sites.

Major collections include:
Photographs and negatives depicting people, places and events at district schools taken by the Audio Visual Section, Public Information Office and other district branches from the 1930s through 1980s

Paintings, drawings and murals donated by graduating classes

Rare book collections of California History, Carnegie Art History Collection and Dawson Collection (formerly located at George Washington High School) and the former LAUSD Kindergarten Memorial and Professional Libraries

Contents of Venice High School’s museum of antiquities called the Latin Museum

Works Progress Administration paintings, murals and sculpture

Misc. curriculum materials from the 1890s to 1970s

Various District administrative records such as Board Minutes, Annual Reports, Budgets and files on the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Historic schoolhouse furniture, teaching devices and office equipment

Regions Covered: Los Angeles, ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome

Type of Materials: Artworks, Audio Recordings, Books, Cultural Artifacts, Materials & Objects, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Institutional Publications, Institutional Records, Official Records, Photographic Equipment, Photographs, Prints/Posters, Rare Books, Slides, Unprocessed/Unknown, Yearbooks

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

Languages: English, Spanish

Sectors of the Population: Artistic Communities, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, Community Service Organizations, Developmentally Disabled, Education, Labor Unions, Students, Youth, African Descent, European Descent, Mexican Descent/Chicano/Latino


Repository/Depository: Yes
Loan To Others: Yes
Exhibition Frequency: Infrequently
Outreach: Class Visits, Exhibitions, Meetings, Student Orientations, Telephone, Word of Mouth