California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

Alert: Save a Californiana Book Collection

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The CSA received this important memorandum from the Historical Society of Southern California:

Subject: Threatened dismantling of California Collection

Dear friends:

It has been brought to the attention of HSSC that the important Californiana Collection housed at the Rosemead Library, part of the Los Angeles County library system, is scheduled for elimination very soon.

The collection is a prime resource for research in 19th and 20th century California history.  Michael Engh has called it a “hidden treasure”.  Opened in its own quarters within the Rosemead Library in 1988, it features such resource materials as the California Census Schedules from 1850 to 1910, files of the newspaper, Alta California, 1849-1891,  The Los Angeles Star, 1851-1879, city directories for the 1800’s, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company atlases for Los Angeles and San Francisco, and strong special gatherings of materials on California water projects, famous crimes, the Donner Party, Hollywood, and pioneer narratives.

A series of dedicated librarians worked for decades to draw materials from the entire county library system and to centralize them at the Rosemead facility.   The threatened break up of this marvelous resource should concern every historian, teacher and, indeed, every lover of good historical research.

You may wish to join HSSC in appealing to Gloria Molina and other members of the Board of Supervisors to preserve undiminished the entire Californiana Collection at the Rosemead Library.  The e-mail address for Supervisor Gloria Molina is

Patricia Adler-Ingram, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Historical Society of Southern California
Box 93487, Pasadena, CA 91109
Business Office (323) 460-5632


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