Thursday, October 27, 2011

L.A. as Subject Archives Bazaar

Looking north to downtown L.A. from USC

With both a master’s degree and doctorate from UCLA, I am a Bruin through and through.  Still, once a year Tim and I venture east to spend the day at UCLA’s rival university USC for the annual L.A. as Subject Archives Bazaar. Dedicated to improving the visibility, access, and preservation of archives that document Los Angeles’s rich history, L.A. as Subject is a group of archival institutions that make their holdings available through the web and other outreach efforts, like the Bazaar.  More than 80 local agencies promoted their collections last Saturday at USC.  Tim and I were completely in our element.

Crowds enjoying the Bazaar

The Bazaar is always a glorious event for me, chatting with former and  current students working in various exhibit booths.  But Tim loves it, too.  A couple of years ago he found a photo of his childhood Little League team on CSU Northridge’s San Fernando Valley History Digital Library website.  This year we connected with the Museum of the San Fernando Valley and talked about possibly helping collect baby-boomer memories of the area when it was still dairy farms and remote subdivisions.  The Culver City Historical Society was also there, selling note cards and umbrellas decorated with images of Culver City.

In addition to the exhibits, the Bazaar offers guest speakers, documentary film screenings and panel discussions of local historical relevance.  We heard Christopher Hawthorne, the L.A. Times architecture critic, discuss 27 essential books about Los Angeles and were fascinated as author John Bengston showed then-and-now photos of downtown L.A., where many early silent films were shot.  Finally, we attended a session with award-winning TV producer Dan Guerrero, who reminisced about his father Lalo Guerrero, the world-famous Chicano songwriter and musician.

It was a wonderful day.  And, oh, did I mention that the Bazaar was completely free?  Yay!

The old card catalog at the Doheny Library
where the Bazaar was held

No comments: