LA as Subject

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

Visual Communications

Address:
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Basement Level
Los Angeles, CA 90012
USA

Contact: Ms. Helen Kim, Archivist
Phone: 213.680.4462
Fax: 213.687.4848
E-mail:

Institution Type: Archive, Arts Institution/Center, Community Arts Organization, Festival Organization

Web site: http://www.vconline.org
Blog: http://fromthevcvault.wordpress.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/vconline
Twitter: @vconline
Other Social Networks: http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/id/14802044

Archives and Collections

Description:
Based in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, VC was founded in 1970 by a group of pioneering independent filmmakers to record, collect, and preserve a visual record of Asian Pacific American cultural heritage. VC originally worked as a film collective, concentrating on honestly portraying accurate images of Asian Americans and meticulously capturing pivotal social movements. VC produced groundbreaking works about the Asian American experience, including: CHINATOWN 2-STEP, a documentary on the suburbanization of Chinese American community in Los Angeles and the role of the Chinatown Drum and Bugle Corps; MANONG, a film on the first generation Filipino American immigrants; and WATARIDORI, a documentary on early Japanese American immigrant pioneers. VC published three books, In Movement: A Pictorial History of Asian Pacific America, Little Tokyo: One Hundred Years in Pictures, and Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts.

Productions were used for education and activism that addressed setting up ethnic studies programs on local campuses, city redevelopment issues, the redress campaign for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, and the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. VC’s own past in all media, narrative films, documentaries and educational projects are intertwined with the Asian Pacific American movements of the 1970s, and in itself represents a rich resource for researchers of the Asian Pacific American movements.

The Archives’ purpose is to document the history of the organization by organizing, preserving, and creating access to a variety of media art and primary materials recording impactful political moments and depicting the Asian Pacific American heritage for staff use, as well as by scholars who are interested in Visual Communications’ role in the Asian American communities and history. The holdings include over 300,000 photographic images, 1,500 titles in the Media Resource Library, 100 films and videos produced by Visual Communications, and over 1,000 hours of oral histories of pan-Asian Pacific American content.

As a valuable resource of Asian media art representations, The Archives is open to a wide variety of users, and we encourage the public, artists, filmmakers, students, faculty and others to pursue an intercultural understanding of the Asian American heritage. VC’s vision for the archives is to accurately reflect and represent the diversity of the American populace and to cement Asian Pacific American experiences in the historical record through the preservation, access, and dissemination of our materials, which provide historical context and insight of Asian Pacific American influence not only for Asian Pacific Americans, but also for all Americans.

Please refer to our list of holdings for more information: http://fromthevcvault.wordpress.com/vc-archives-collections/

Regions Covered: Primarily California and the West Coast

Type of Materials: Audio Recordings, Films/Videos/Moving Images, Oral Histories, Photographs

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

Languages: Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean

Sectors of the Population: Artistic Communities, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, Community Service Organizations, Education, Gender Specific, Labor Unions, Migrant Workers, Politics/Government, Sports, TV/Film/Radio, Veterans, Youth, Asian Descent, Multiethnic, Lower to Middle Income

Management

Catalog System: Cataloged records are arranged by printed index of photographic proof sheets; images cataloged by subject matter, ethnicity, sources and time frames. Uncataloged records are managed by an in-house system. Finding aids are in the process of being added to the Online Archive of California.
Online Catalog: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/institutions/Visual+Communications+Archives+and+Media+Resource+Library
Digital Formats: Contact photograph sheets; digital images; 3/4" U-matic and other tape formats; digital audio files; print materials.
Repository/Depository: Yes
Loan To Others: Yes
Exhibited: Yes
Exhibition Frequency: Infrequently
Outreach: Brochures/Flyers/Pamphlets, Class Visits, Community Service, Conferences/Conventions, Directories, Festivals, Internet, Mailings, Newsletter, Public Lectures & Programs, Publications, Study Guides, Word of Mouth