Regional History Collection

The Regional History Collection in USC Libraries Special Collections documents the political, social, cultural, and urban history of Southern California, and includes manuscripts, books, ephemera, film, photographs, and other archival items.  Initially conceived as a repository for the papers of political and civic leaders, such as Alphonso Bell, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, and Governor Jerry Brown, Jr., the archival collections have grown to encompass a wide array of materials documenting growth, change, conflict, and everyday life in Southern California.  The Regional History Collection includes the records of the Century Freeway project, the Webster and Christopher Commissions, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, early Los Angeles city directories and the Los Angeles Examiner clippings morgue. Visual materials round out the scope of the collections and include close to two million images documenting one hundred years of Southern California history, mostly in three notable photographic collections: the Los Angeles Examiner, the California Historical Society, and the “Dick” Whittington collection.