California State Library Supports L.A. as Subject Community Histories Portal

Posted by Bill Dotson

LA as SubjectThanks to generous support from the California State Library under the Pitch-an-Idea grant program, the USC Libraries and L.A. as Subject will develop a new online portal for access to a wealth of community histories from the Southern California region. Along with launching the new portal, the libraries and L.A. as Subject will launch a comprehensive survey of community and neighborhood archives from throughout the greater Los Angeles region.

As the project gets underway, the USC Libraries will hire a community archives specialist, who will gather information from archives in the L.A. as Subject research alliance—as well as a number of other Southern California archives that hold intriguing materials on less-visible aspects of our region’s past. For details on the position, visit the USC Careers page.

The project builds on the work begun in 1995 by the L.A. as Subject Advisory Forum, which created a comprehensive guide titled Cultural Inheritance/L.A.: A Directory of Less-Visible Archives and Collections in the Los Angeles Region and a companion online database in 1999. The new online portal will debut in honor of the 20th anniversary of the publication and significantly enhance online access to Southern California community history collections now listed in the L.A. as Subject directory.

Many smaller historical archives and collections have limited IT infrastructures and online presences. The new L.A. as Subject online portal will help them share their stories and connect with California students, teachers, activists, filmmakers, historians, preservationists, and other members of the California public. 

The project team, led by USC Libraries strategic digital initiatives librarian Giao Luong Baker and L.A. as Subject coordinator Liza Posas, includes USC Libraries senior technical project leader Mike Jones and project manager Tim Stanton.