University News

UCLA Library project to highlight L.A.'s cultures, communities, histories

'Collecting Los Angeles' made possible by major gift from Arcadia Fund

The UCLA Library has announced aninnovative project togather, preserve, interpret and make accessibleits collections documenting the remarkable multiplicity of cultures and at-risk hidden histories of theLos Angelesregion.
"Collecting Los Angeles,"the first project to be made possible by a recent$5 million gift from the Arcadia Fund intended to support transformational changes in the UCLA Library's collections and the services that support them, will build on the library's existing strengths in this area, which encompass special collections, photo archives, oral histories, maps and circulating materials on local history, government, politics and literary, performing and visual arts.
"This new project will accomplish numerous goals, including transforming the way we engage with local communities, which supports our collection building and further aligns us with Chancellor Gene Block's goal of civic engagement," said UCLA University Librarian Gary E. Strong. "It will also enable us to develop multiple new connections among existing collections, attract new audiences to their use and offer a new model of the collection-development specialist as curator."
The new initiative's curatorwill be Susan Anderson, an accomplished historian, author, editor and project manager who has consulted for the California State Parks Foundation and the California Endowment andcurated a statewide touring exhibition on the African American community of Allensworth, Calif. Most recently, she served as managing director of the "LA as Subject" program at the USC Libraries.Anderson, whohas taught at Pitzer College, received herbachelor's degreefrom Scripps College andher M.B.A. fromthe UCLAAnderson School of Management.
Among theUCLA Library'sarchival holdings related to the Los Angeles region are the papers of various elected officials, including former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and former U.S. congressmen Anthony Beilenson, Augustus F. Hawkins, Carlos Moorhead and Edward Roybal.The papersare complemented by an extensive collection of campaign literature.
Local history materials cover a broad range, from the papers of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph Bunche, who lived in Los Angeles and attended UCLA, to the records of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, the Golden State Mutual Insurance Company and the organizing committee for the 1984 Summer Olympics. One of the library's most extensive and diverse archival collections documents the experience of Asian Americans during World War II through materials such as artwork, correspondence, newsletters and official records.
Personal papers of Southern California writers include those of Raymond Chandler, John Fante, Aldous Huxley, Carey McWilliams, Henry Miller, Paul Monette and Anas Nin. Among the architects and visual artists whose papers the library holds are Mae Babitz, A. Quincy Jones, R.B. Kitaj, Richard Neutra, June Wayne and Lloyd Wright.
Documenting the entertainment industry are papers of actors, directors, writers, designers, film studios, production companies and theater companies; noteworthy names include Carol Burnett, CBS, the Center Theater Group, the East West Players, Larry Gelbart, Walter Lantz, Gene Reynolds, RKO and Waldo Salt. The library's extensive music holdings feature sheet music, recordings and papers of performers, composers and recording companies; among the many significant names are A&M Records, Jimmy Durante, Henry Mancini, Alex North, the Ojai Festival, Horace Tapscott, Ernst Toch, Jimmy Van Heusen and Warner Bros. Studio.
The UCLA Library continues to explore specific uses of the Arcadia Fund gift that will support the goal of transformative change. Other possibilities include projects that build new collections, enhance existing ones, repurpose already digitized materials, expand digitization efforts into new areas of concentration, and explore and develop new types of recorded knowledge. Funds may also be used to enhance end-user discovery of UCLA Library holdings, encourage the use of materials in novel ways, leverage new technology to attract broader audiences to use collections in instruction and scholarship, and manage and make accessible scholarship in new formats.
The UCLA Library, ranked among the top 10 research libraries in the country, is a campus-wide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. Its collections encompass more than 8 million volumes as well as archives, audiovisual materials, corporate reports, government publications, microforms, technical reports and other scholarly resources. The UCLA Library also develops and provides access to an extensive collection of digital resources, including reference works, electronic journals and other full-text titles and images.
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