6120 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044
Contact: Yusef Omowale
Institution Type: Archive, Community Organization, Community Service Organization, Library, Non-profit Organization, Study Center
Web site: http://www.socallib.org
The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research primarily documents and preserves the history of twentieth-century radicalism and social change through progressive movements in the greater Los Angeles area. The materials held by the library relate to the labor, peace, social justice, civil rights, women’s, gay and lesbian, and various other grassroots movements. While the library’s print holdings—numbering approximately thirty thousand books and three thousand periodical titles—range well beyond the subject of Los Angeles to socialism, Marxism, and the Cold War, its special collections focus on Los Angeles. These collections include twenty-five thousand pamphlets, fifteen hundred posters, two thousand photographs, one hundred documentary films, one hundred videos, thirty-five hundred audio tapes, organizational files for Los Angeles and national grassroots groups, and extensive subject files containing newspaper clippings, magazine articles, and reports. Among the library’s major archival collections are the papers of civil liberties defender Leo Gallagher, California Eagle editor and publisher Charlotta Bass, and Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research founders Emil and Tassia Freed, as well as papers from the Los Angeles chapter of the Civil Rights Congress, the Los Angeles Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, the Los Angeles International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and the Los Angeles Congress of Industrial Organizations. The archival collections on the Watts Rebellion of 1965, the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panthers, and Chicano activism are heavily used, as are the documentary films of the 1930s from the Film and Photo League and those of the 1960s from the Newsreel (SDS) collective. The library is committed to making its collections on the multicultural history of Los Angeles widely available and to working with other institutions and organizations to ensure that a broadly based historical record of the city’s people is preserved for future generations.
Regions Covered: Southern California focus, but print collections are national and international in scope
Type of Materials: Audio Recordings, Books, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Manuscripts, Scripts
Time Periods: 1921-1949, 1950-1963, 1964-1980, 1981-Present
Languages: English, Spanish, Yiddish
Sectors of the Population: Artistic Communities, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, Community Service Organizations, Gender Specific, Labor Unions, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Migrant Workers, Politics/Government, African Descent, Asian Descent, European Descent, Jewish Descent, Mexican Descent/Chicano/Latino, Multiethnic, At or Below Poverty Level, Lower to Middle Income
Catalog System: For books, a small percentage of books are cataloged using software for small libraries. No online access to catalog. For archival collections, approximately half are processed and available via in-house registers and online through the Online Archive of California.
Loan To Others: Yes
Outreach: Brochures/Flyers/Pamphlets, Internet, Newsletter, Radio/TV/Video