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Calif. History Housed in USC Libraries

Dace Taube, left, curator of the California Historical Society Collection, and Melinda Hayes, associate director for Specialized Libraries & Archival Collections, look on as David Crosson, the society’s executive director, signs the agreement with USC.

Photo/Dan Knapp

The USC Libraries have renewed an agreement with the California Historical Society to maintain stewardship of documents and photographs that tell the unique story of Southern California.

The San Francisco-based society made the partnership official at a signing ceremony during its June 21 board meeting held in USC’s Doheny Memorial Library. The USC Libraries’ special collections, also in Doheny, will continue to be home to the society’s collection.

The agreement ensures that this valuable resource will be available to scholars at USC and around the world until at least 2017.

The archive originally was placed on long-term deposit at USC in 1990. It comprises a variety of historically significant documents, maps, coastal survey reports, photographs and numerous works focusing on the Golden State. The bulk of the collection’s contents originated between 1860 and 1960.

Among the segments of the society’s archive is the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Collection, one of the most-researched, according to librarian and regional history curator Dace Taube.

Before the meeting, board members toured USC Libraries’ digital imaging lab, located in University Village. The USC Libraries have digitized more than 22,000 of the society’s images and made them available to researchers, students and the public through the USC Digital Archive at

“Countless scholars use the collection to trace the history of Southern California and the evolution of Los Angeles from a small farming community to a major metropolis,” said Marje Schuetze-Coburn, dean of the USC Libraries. “To have these materials under our care is a great joy and responsibility. We look forward to preserving our relationship with the California Historical Society for years to come.”

For more information, contact Dace Taube at or (213) 821-2366.

Calif. History Housed in USC Libraries

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