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Los Angeles Archives Bazaar returning to USC

The Los Angeles Aqueduct, which opened in 1913, will be featured in one of the exhibitions appearing at the seventh annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar at USC. (Photo/Courtesy of California State University, Northridge, Special Collections)

From the activists who struggled for social justice in their neighborhoods to the trolleys that once connected far-flung communities, local history will come alive on Oct. 27 at the seventh annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar.

Presented by L.A. as Subject and the USC Libraries, the daylong event at Doheny Memorial Library will celebrate the unique stories and history of the LA area. For serious researchers and casual history buffs alike, the Archives Bazaar offers unique exhibitions culled from more than 80 historical collections and archives across Southern California.

Large institutions, such as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Balch Art Research Library at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will be represented, along with private collections, such as the Wally G. Shidler Historical Collection of Southern California Ephemera.

“One of the hallmarks of Los Angeles historical records is that they show up in the most unlikely places,” said Michael Palmer, co-chair of the Archives Bazaar planning committee and a processing archivist at Claremont Colleges Library. “With over 80 different collections and repositories all in one place, this is the best way to make those surprising discoveries.”

The USC Libraries serve as the host institution for L.A. as Subject, an association of archives, libraries, museums, community organizations and private collectors. The relationship complements the USC Libraries’ strong regional history collection and is a natural outgrowth of the libraries’ efforts to preserve and expand access to the primary sources of Southern California history.

This year’s Archives Bazaar also will mark the opening of a new exhibition on the ground floor of Doheny Library. Through more than two dozen images from L.A. as Subject member institutions, Water and Power will explore the roles water and power — figuratively and literally — have played in shaping LA  history.

A rich suite of programming will complement the rare historical materials on display. This year, a new event will connect scholars, students and history fans with the historical collections they are seeking. A kind of archival speed dating, “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives” will feature more than a dozen L.A. as Subject members who, in rapid-fire succession, will share one notable item from their archives.

Four panel discussions will delve deeper into selected themes from LA history:

• In “Start Your Engines: How L.A. Became the Center of Car Culture,” Leslie Kendall of the Petersen Automotive Museum and Ken Berg of the Motorsports Education Foundation will explore the history of motoring in Los Angeles.

• In “Wish You Were Here: Los Angeles in Postcards,” collectors David Boule and Melvin Hale will discuss the scenes depicted on tourists’ postcards and the role they played in advertising the city’s charms.

• “CSI Los Angeles: Archival Case Study Investigations” will look at how, like the forensic specialists on television, historical detectives can piece together archival materials to solve historical mysteries.

• “Southern California Ranchos and Homesteads” will consider the challenges of preserving and interpreting the surviving landmarks of the region’s early 19th-century rancho era.

“On the Record: Getting Started With Oral History,” an educational session presented by Natalie Fousekis of the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University, Fullerton, will examine the process of conducting oral history interviews. The bazaar also will feature a screening of Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, a documentary that tells the story of the LA-based band and its genre-bending sound.

The Archives Bazaar will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Doheny Memorial Library. Admission is free. For more information, visit or contact Tyson Gaskill at (213) 740-2070 or Immediately after the bazaar, a public reception for the opening of Water and Power will begin at 5 p.m. on the ground floor of the library. To RSVP for the opening, visit (code: archives).

Los Angeles Archives Bazaar returning to USC

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