Manuscript Collections

The Manuscript Collections are comprised of local history materials, film and music collections, and a range of political materials including public official correspondence, pamphlets, and clippings. While manuscript literally means handwritten, the term 'manuscript collection' is often used to describe unpublished mixed media, i.e., typescripts, photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, news clippings, and printed works.

View Manuscript Collections on OAC.


Central American Solidarity L.A. Network Collection

The Central American Solidarity L.A. Network Collection consists of publications and materials related to Central American Solidarity Networks in Los Angeles from the late-1970s to mid-1990s which were housed in the Latin American Studies Center of Cal State LA. These materials were acquired over the course of three decades by several faculty members and students in the Latin American Studies program.

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Central American Solidarity L.A. Network Collection
Mujer Salvadoreña En Lucha de Liberacion poster

Salvadoran Refugees Audio Cassette Collection, Escuchen Nuestras Voces (Hear Our Voices)

The Salvadoran Refugee Audio Cassette Collection, Escuchen Nuestras Voces (Hear Our Voices), is approximately ten hours of songs and poems by Salvadoran refugees, recorded in August 1983 by members of the music group, Sabiá, in the UN refugee camp of Mesa Grande. The Mesa Grande refugee camp, located 30 miles from the border of El Salvador in Honduras, housed over 10,000 refugees in 1983, most of whom were children, women, and elderly people from the rural provinces of Cabañas, Chalatenango, and Morazán in northern El Salvador. They had fled into Honduras to escape the Salvadoran Army's counter-insurgency tactics that included the murder, torture, and rape of unarmed peasants and the destruction of entire villages through the burning of houses and crops. Their stories are told through songs and poems which give testimony to their violent past, depict their present life in the refugee camp, and express their strong will to survive and undaunted faith in the future. Firmly rooted in oral traditions, these songs and poems represent the refugees’ collective memory, document the trauma they endured and ensure that the past will not be forgotten.

View Salvadoran Refugees Collection Guide

Central America header
Salvadoran Refugees Audio Cassette Collection

Central American Memoria Histórica Archive

The Central American Memoria Histórica Archive (CAMHA) at Cal State LA is a project developed to digitize and archive the visual and material culture of Central American activists, leaders, community groups, artists, and collectives in Los Angeles. The project supports the preservation of Central American community history and civic participation in Los Angeles, and documents the transnational social, cultural and political life of Central American communities from the 1950s to the present.

East LA Archives

Gloria Arellanes

Gloria Arellanes (1946- ) is a political activist, former member of the Brown Berets and co-founder of "Las Adelitas de Aztlan," a Chicana feminist group active during the Chicanx Civil Rights Movement. The collection includes political flyers and broadsides, newspapers, books, buttons, posters and photographs dating from 1967 to the late 1970s.

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Arellanes Brown Beret
Gloria Arellanes' Brown Beret
Arellanes Photo Strip
Photo Strip of Gloria Arellanes wearing her Brown Beret

Carlos Montes

Carlos Montes (1947- ) is a nationally respected leader in the Chicanx, immigrant rights, and anti-war movements. He helped transform the Brown Berets into a national organization with chapters all over the United States and in 1967 organized the first protest against police brutality at the East Los Angeles Sheriff's station. The materials in this collection were created between 1948-2014 and include subject/topical files and legal documents related to the State of California vs. Carlos Montes, Biltmore Case, and the East LA 13 court case. Smaller series includes publications, newsletters, newspaper clippings, newspapers, political announcements and flyers, correspondence, posters, scrapbook, and ephemera.

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TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union)

Founded in 1968, The East Los Angeles Community Union (TELACU) is a non-profit community development corporation with a mission to create greater opportunities, services, and affordable housing in underserved communities. Today, TELACU provides scholarships for Latino students through the Latino Education Foundation. With materials from 1957-1981, the collection is comprised of surveys, community development and environmental plans, proposals, contracts, correspondence, photographs, and film. Community plans consist of health care center construction plans, road construction and worker rights assistance.

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Jose R. Figueroa

The Jose R. Figueroa collection consists of posters and publications produced by El Teatro Campesino, Teatro de la Gente, and Teatro Urbano, and includes materials related to the history of Chicanx/Latinx struggles and activism during the Chicanx movement in Los Angeles. The collection also contains photographs of the guerrilla military and political organization in El Salvador, Fuerzas Populares de Liberacion (FPL).

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Dia de los Muertos poster
Dia de los Muertos poster, by Self-Help Graphics, 1979

InnerCity Struggle

InnerCity Struggle (ICS) works with youth and community residents to promote safe, healthy and non-violent communities in the Eastside of Los Angeles. ICS began as a project of Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission and launched as its own independent community organization in 1994. The collection contains a wide variety of ICS publications, youth program materials, student writings and photographs, and newspaper clippings. The collection also includes ephemera with items such as posters, buttons, t-shirts, and a commemorative ICS anniversary pocket watch.

View InnerCity Stuggle Collection Guide

InnerCity Struggle
Quince Anos en la Lucha poster

Mexican American Baseball

Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues was a collaborative event developed by the Baseball Reliquary, a Pasadena-based nonprofit organization, and the Cal State LA, John F. Kennedy Memorial Library. The project focused on the historic role that baseball played within Mexican American communities in Los Angeles County and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The collection consists of materials related to the project's exhibition (March 26-June 9, 2006) and opening reception on April 9, 2005. The exhibition and the project moved to CSU, San Bernardino in 2008 and was renamed, The Latino Baseball History Project: The Southern California Experience.

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Mexican American Baseball
Attendees viewing display case for Mexican Americans in Baseball exhibit
Mexican American Baseball 2
William Pena, father of Richard Pena Sr.

David Sandoval

David Sandoval is the former Director of the Cal State LA Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). In the 1960s, he was a student and community activist (UMAS, MECHA, Brown Berets), combining his media talents with his concern for the community by writing and producing short videos and film documentaries. The collection consists of writings and publications collected by David Sandoval between 1981-2008, including drafts of Sandoval's presentations, magazines, journals, and newspapers related to civil rights issues and the plight of low-income and educationally disadvantaged students.

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Boyle Heights Collection

A historic Los Angeles neighborhood, Boyle Heights was diversely populated by Jewish, Latino, Russian, and Japanese Americans in the early to mid-twentieth century and was at one point home to the largest Jewish community in the Western United States. This collection represents the initial accession of the Boyle Heights Archive in 2005 which was intended to benefit researchers who explore the ongoing history of Latino/Chicano/Jewish community relations of Boyle Heights.

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Boyle Heights
Selected materials from the Boyle Heights archive

Film & Television

Anthony Quinn Collection of Film Scripts

a. Anthony Quinn (1916 - 2001), best known as an actor who starred in such films as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Zorba the Greek (1964), and La Strada (1954), was also a writer and visual artist. Quinn became involved in civil rights movements throughout the United States. In 1970, he served as a panelist at the Mexican American Conference and attended events for La Raza and other groups. The Anthony Quinn Collection contains approximately 200 film scripts (20 linear feet) created between 1940 and 1972. Also included are theater plays, teleplays, and pre-production film materials, as well as correspondence and research materials related to film projects and Quinn’s appearances.

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Anthony Quinn
Selection of materials that were created for Chicano actors

Television and Film Press Kit Collection

The Television and Film Press Kit Collection is comprised of press kits that were distributed by Universal Pictures. A few of the press kits were addressed to Arenas Entertainment, a marketing agency who promotes entertainment products including film, television and brand launches to Spanish-speaking audiences in several countries including the United States, Mexico, and Spain. The materials in this collection were compiled from 1999-2008. This collection includes several copies of press kits for 62 different films, some of which are partly translated into Spanish.

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Press Kits
Press Kit for the Sixth Sense motion picture

Ivan N. Cury Collection

Ivan N. Cury (1937- ) worked as a free-lance writer, producer and director in New York and Los Angeles. His credits include The Young and the Restless, The Dukes of Hazzard, All My Children, The Facts of Life and the television special Nashville Remembers Elvis on His Birthday. Cury also worked at multiple universities including Loyola-Marymount University, UCLA and Cal State LA. While at Cal State LA, he taught Introduction to Studio Production, Documentary Production, and Directing for Television. The materials in this collection, created between 1977-2000, include television scripts and stage maps.

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Ivan N. Cury
Selection of scripts from Cury collection

Motion Picture Photograph Collection

The Motion Picture Photograph Collection is comprised of photographs from 1948-1995. The bulk of the collection includes photographs and ephemera, most of which were collected and maintained by Zelda Gale who was an avid donor to the Cal State LA University Library. The photographs contain several headshots and group shots of various actors and singers such as Tony Curtis, Montgomery Clift, Peter Lawford, Jerry Lewis, Barbara Stanwyck, and Burt Lancaster.

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Motion Picture Photograph Collection
Signed Photo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Motion Picture and Television Script Collection

This collection is comprised of over 300 motion picture and television scripts, totaling 12 linear feet. The bulk of the material was donated by the Theater Arts Department in the late 1970s. Titles include "Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies," a 1971 screenplay by Claudia Salter adapted from an original screen story by Steven Spielberg, and "Terror town," a teleplay from the Alfred Hitchcock Hour which aired from 1962-1965.

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Film and TV
Scripts from Motion Picture and Television Script Collection

Literature & Poetry

Alfredo Vea Manuscripts

Alfredo Véa, Jr. (1950-), a lawyer of Mexican, Yaqui, and Filipino heritage, draws on this legacy along with his life experiences for the subjects of his novels. The collection consists of literary manuscripts (typescripts) for three novels: La Maravilla, The Silver Cloud Café, and Gods Go Begging. The typescripts are corrected and edited by the author; also included are notes and comments by others. Véa used report-style folders as covers for the typescripts. In some cases, the original manuscript cover is saved when it contains a title or other comment handwritten by Véa.

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Edna Anderson Collection of Poems and Papers

Edna Anderson began her teaching career after high school in 1911. Anderson taught at country schools in Montana from 1911-1914, saving her salary to attend college. During this time there was no government aid. Nevertheless, Anderson worked hard and attended The University of California, Berkeley and in 1918, Anderson graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree, and an Honors in English. In 1922, she received her Master of Arts in English. After graduation, Anderson taught high school in Washington, California, and Hawaii and in 1929, she became a charter member of the Los Angeles City College faculty and an Associate Professor of English. Anderson remained with Los Angeles City College until her retirement in 1960. After retirement, Anderson focused on her writing and her love of nature. The materials in this collection were created from 1926-1972. The bulk of the collection consists of writings and publications by Anderson. These consist of poetry, short stories, and a novel. Included in this collection are the correspondences between Anderson and her family and friends, biographical documents and newspaper clippings that pertain to her education and interests, as well as photographs and an interview with Anderson.

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Edna Anderson
Edna Anderson, 1939
Sampling of poems from the Edna Anderson collection
Sampling of poems from the Edna Anderson collection

Frederick Shroyer Manuscripts

Frederick B. Shroyer (1916 – 1983) was a Cal State LA Department of English faculty member for over 25 years and contributed to the student publication Statement Magazine. He also was an editor for the Los Angeles Examiner, an author, literary critic, and television moderator. He authored over a dozen books including Wall Against the Night, It Happened in Wayland, and There None Embrace. The collection of literary manuscripts is comprised of a galley proof and two typescript drafts of his novel, Wall Against the Night, which was published in 1957. The galley proof and typescripts include edits and corrections in pen and pencil and “cut and pasted” (stapled) sections.

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View Statement Magazine Digital Collection

Los Angeles Poets collection

The Los Angeles Poets Collection contains 41 matted photographs by photographer Sheree Levin, which were exhibited at California State University, Los Angeles in 1982. Accompanying the photographs is a program from The L.A. 2 Scene: Los Angeles Poets Exhibition. The photographs are of local Los Angeles poets, including Lewis MacAdams who, in 1991, received the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society’s annual Conservation Award. As a political activist, MacAdams was the co-founder of Friends of The Los Angeles River (FoLAR) established in 1985 (and also served as Chair on their Board of Directors). FoLAR has been characterized by MacAdams as a "40-year artwork" to bring the Los Angeles River back to life. Clayton Eshleman, a famous poet in his own right, is also included. Over the course of Eshleman’s life, his work has been published in over 500 literary magazines and newspapers, and he has given readings at more than 200 universities. Eshleman founded and edited two of the most seminal and highly regarded literary magazines of the period. Twenty issues of Caterpillar appeared between 1967 and 1973. In 1981, while Dreyfuss Poet in Residence at the California Institute of Technology, Eshleman founded Sulfur magazine.

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Mel Weisburd Papers and Reel-to-Reel Collection

Melvin Irving Weisburd (1927-2015) was a prominent environmentalist, magazine editor, writer, and poet. Aside from his work with the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District, Weisburd is known for his contribution to the Los Angeles beatnik poetry movement of the 1950s. As a student at Los Angeles State College (Cal State LA), Weisburd met Thomas McGrath, a highly-regarded poet and English professor who influenced Weisburd’s passion for poetry. Weisburd went on to become a member of McGrath’s “Marsh Street Irregulars”, a group of poets who met every Wednesday night at McGrath’s Marsh Street home in the Elysian Valley, which was later demolished to make way for the I-5 and SR-2 highway interchange.

By 1955, Weisburd and fellow Marsh Street Irregular, Gene Frumkin, founded Coastlines magazine, a literary journal dedicated to poetry in Los Angeles. The group of poets associated with the journal(dubbed the "Coastliners") are increasingly identified as an important alternative to the more visible Beat communities of San Francisco and Venice. During this time, Weisburd avidly sought to document the poetry activity of Los Angeles including poets Kenneth Rexroth, Kenneth Patchen, Don Gordon, Ann Stanford, Gene Frumkin, and Thomas McGrath. Many of these poets were also Cal State LA students and their work is featured in Statement Magazine.

In 2016, Weisburd's private collection of manuscripts, poetry, journals, and correspondence, as well as 42 reel-to-reels from , were donated to Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives by English Professor Dr. Andrew L. Knighton. Many of the reels in this collection were selected for digitization by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP), and have been made available on

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Listen to Weisburd Poetry Collection

View Statement Magazine Digital Collection

Weisburd Journal
One of Weisburd's poetry journals from 1957
Weisburd Reel
Reel of live poetry from the Wiesburd Collection

Norman Fruman Papers

Dr. Norman Fruman (1923-2012) is a noted literary scholar best known for his 1971 book Coleridge, The Damaged Archangel (1971). He was born in the Bronx, New York and attended school in New York City, earning his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1948 and his Ph.D. from New York University in 1960. While still attending the City University of New York for his undergraduate degree, Fruman was sent to fight in World War II. He rose to the rank of platoon leader in the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a prisoner of war in a Bavarian prison camp until his release in 1945. Fruman wrote for The American Comics Group after earning his M.A. and won the television quiz show “The $64,000 Challenge” in 1957. After earning his doctorate in 1960, Fruman taught English at California State University, Los Angeles from 1959 to 1978 and later the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities from 1978 to 1994. Dr. Fruman was a public critic of political correctness in the university, especially regarding his own field of study. He was a founding member of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers as well as a board member of the National Association of Scholars. Fruman died in 2012 from cancer, leaving behind three children and Doris, his wife for 53 years.

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Mesoamerica / Colonial Mexico

Glass Collection

John B. Glass (1929-2015) was born in Hawaii, majored in economics at Yale and earned a Ph.D. in archaeology at Harvard. He became an authority on Pre-Columbian hieroglyphics manuscripts, publishing numerous papers and books on the subject. In 2016 Glass' collection of rare books and his papers were donated to Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives. The personal papers include publications and notes by Glass related to his research on Mesoamerica. The rare books were separated from the papers and integrated into the Mesoamerica and Colonial Mexico Rare Book Collection. The entire collection also consists of two other book collections, which belonged to Aztec scholar H.B. Nicholson and book collector Wayne Ruwet.

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Meso and Colonial
Facsimile of Codex Nuttall, 1902, featuring hand-written notes and sketches from John B. Glass

Ruwet Collection

Wayne Ruwet (1944 -2017) received a BA in Anthropology in 1967 and went on to receive a master's degree in Anthropology from UCLA in 1970. Ruwet worked at UCLA Library from 1970 to 1999 in various positions such as Search Supervisor, Stack Supervisor, and Circulation Operations Supervisor. He was also a scholar and book collector. He published various articles on Mesoamerica, including on the Codex Magliabechiano and the Codex Vaticanus and presented at the American Anthropological Association, Symposium on the Post-Classic of Mexico, American Society for Ethnohistory, and various other conferences. Ruwet's Papers contain correspondence, publications, photographic materials, and documents on his research.

This collection is currently being processed.

Music & Art

Roy and Johana Harris Collection of Musical Scores & Personal Papers

Leroy Ellsworth Harris (1898 - 1979) was world-renowned American composer. In 1973, while a member of the Cal State LA Music Department faculty, he donated his papers and musical works to the University. The collection consists of approximately 3,000 leaves of original manuscripts and sketches, copies of published and unpublished works, 15,000 letters and other memorabilia, commercial and non-commercial recordings of major portions of Roy Harris' works, and the complete holdings on microfilm of Harris papers owned by the Library of Congress. In 1987, Johana Harris added approximately 70 linear feet of documents, bringing the total to approximately 180 linear feet.

This collection is currently being processed.

Roy Harris photo
Roy Harris

Stan Kenton Collection of Musical Recordings & Personal Papers

Stanley Newcomb Kenton was a renowned bandleader, pianist, arranger, and composer of modern jazz. He made worldwide concert appearances, billed as "artistry in rhythm," progressive jazz, and innovations in modern music. In 1980, the University received the Stan Kenton Collection from his wife Audree Coke, Director of Kentonia, Inc. Approximately 40 linear feet, the collection includes taped radio concerts, interviews, and commercial recordings; honors and awards; scrapbooks; posters; newspaper clippings; programs; and photographs of Kenton and his band dating from the early 1940s, with the bulk of photographs dating to the 1960s and 1970s.

This collection is currently being processed.

Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton and Nat King Cole at a recording session for "Orange Colored Sky" for Capitol Records, 1950.

California Arts Commission Collection of Orchestral Scores and Parts

The California Arts Commission Collection, consisting of 170 orchestral scores and parts (30 linear feet), was donated to Cal State LA by the California State Library in 1979. The collection includes works by a number of composers: Bach, Beethoven, Berlioz, Borodin, Brahms, Debussy, Dvorák, Elgar, Franck, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Musorgsky, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Rinskii-Korsakov, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Schubert, Schumann, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Weber. Each work includes a conductor's score and a complete set of orchestral parts.

Jeffrey Jones Collection of Sheet Music & Music Anthologies

Jeffrey Jones, grandson of composer Harry Warren, died at the age of nineteen. Jeffrey's mother, Cookie Jones donated his collection of sheet music and music anthologies to the University Library in 1989. Included are over 10,000 popular music scores, or approximately eighteen linear feet, dating from the middle of the late twentieth century.

This collection is currently being processed.

Glenn Jordan Collection of Light Opera Scripts & Scores

Glenn Jordan was associated with light opera musical companies throughout the United States and was the director of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera from 1971 until his death in 1976. In 1986, his wife, Lucy, donated Jordan's collection of nineteen light opera musical scores, eighty-nine musical scripts and seventy-four individual files with photographs and other related documents. The collection totals 21 linear feet.

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Otto Klemperer Collection of Musical Scores

Otto Klemperer was one of the leading German conductors of his generation and was a conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra between 1933-1939. Approximately 12 linear feet, the Klemperer Collection was presented to the University in the mid-1970s. It consists of 215 orchestral scores, or approximately 12 linear feet, including works by Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Bloch, Brahms, Britten, Bruckner, Busoni, Kelius, Gluck, Grieg, Handel, Hindemith, Krenek, Liszt, Mahler, Malipiero, Mendelssohn, Milhaud, Mozart, Musorgsky, Pfitzner, Prokofiev, Respighi, Schönberg, Schubert, Richard Strauss, Stranvinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. Many include Klemperer's conducting notations.

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Jimmy McHugh Collection of Sheet Music

Jimmy McHugh has been hailed as the most successful Irish American writer of popular songs since Victor Herbert. He wrote such tuneful melodies as I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby, I'm In The Mood For Love, Don't Blame Me, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, It's A Most Unusual Day, You're A Sweetheart, and Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer. The collection at approximately 4 linear feet, consists of over 550 songs from the late nineteenth century to the early 1970s.

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McGrath Sacred Music Collection

Geraldine Biggs McGrath was born on October 8th, 1929, to Richard Keys Biggs, a prominent organist and composer, and Lucinne Gourdon Biggs. Her parents were pioneers in bringing traditional Roman Catholic Church music to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. They moved to California, where the rich church music environment influenced McGrath into pursuing choir and Gregorian chant. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music degree in choral conducting and became music director at St. John Baptist de la Salle Church in Granada Hills. Through her lifetime, she taught at the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Seminary of Our Lady Queen of Angels, was appointed to the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Music Commission, and was a founding member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, as well as a recipient of the Papal Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontific awarded by Pope Benedict XVI. She also campaigned for keeping traditional music, such as chant, in modernizing churches. The collection is rich in information concerning Gregorian chant and Catholic liturgical music composed for the organ.

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Salli Terri Choral Music Collection

Salli C. Terri (September 3, 1922 - May 5, 1996) was a singer, arranger, recording artist, and songwriter. She earned a B.A. in Music from Wayne State University and an M.A. in Music from the University of Southern California. She was married to composer and director John Biggs for twenty-five years and had two daughters. The family performed medieval and Renaissance music together as the John Biggs Consort. From 1950-1952 she taught music and English at the American School in Tokyo, Japan, returned to the U.S. to teach music theory at Fullerton Junior College, and later directed a woman's choir and was a professor of Music at UCLA. In 1951, Terri joined the Roger Wagner Chorale and appeared as a solo artist. She also made several solo records, staged a one-woman show, and sang in film and television productions. This collection of choral music arranged by or performed by Terri represents her eclectic musical interest of folk, religious music, love songs, and ballads. The collection also reflects Terri’s deep interest in Shaker history and culture. The Shakers, also known as the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, is a religious sect that branched off from a Quaker community and was founded in 18th century England. The collection’s clippings, periodicals, correspondence, and magazines document Shaker culture and highlight American folk culture.

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Compton Communicative Arts Academy (CCAA)

The Compton Communicative Arts Academy (CCAA) collection is comprised of images that document African American art and culture, community-based art making, and art-based community making in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. The 200 items in this digital collection were selected from a collection of over 4,100 photographs, negatives, slides and ephemera by faculty members from the University Library and the Liberal Studies Department. The criteria for selection were images that illustrate buildings and places; the Academy's programming, artwork, and performances; artists, artwork, important people and events; and Willie B. Ford, Jr. as a photographer. This phase of the project was part of the California Local History Digital Resources Project supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, and administered in California by the State Librarian.

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View Digitized Compton Collection

Murals in compton
Cover art for "Murals in Compton" booklet
Julie King with trombone
Julie King with trombone

Northwest Coast Art Collection

During her time as a librarian and archivist at Cal State LA University Library from 1962-1983, Mary Gormly taught about Northwest Coast and Native American art. She history received her B.A. in Anthropology in 1947 from the University of Washington and went on to receive an M.A. from Mexico City College in 1948. Additionally, she received an MLS degree from the University of Washington in 1959. Gormly’s interests centered on the arts and ethnography of Native American populations. She retired in 2004, however, she left her legacy at Cal State LA with her Northwest Coast Art collection, a fellowship for Native American studies students in her honor, and an exhibit of the collection in 2007.

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Public Officials & Politics

In 1966, under the direction of the University Librarian, Morris Polan, Cal State LA became the repository for the Public Officials' Papers, a series of manuscript collections of prominent Los Angeles government officials.


Richard Alatorre

Richard Alatorre served as a California State Assemblyman from 1973-1983 and as Los Angeles City Councilman from 1985 -1999. Approximately 38 linear feet, the collection consists of papers from Alatorre's tenure as State Assemblyman of the 55th District.

This collection is currently being processed.

Richard Alatorre photo
Richard Alatorre

Ernest E. Debs

Ernest E. Debs (1904-2002) represented the 56th District as State Assemblyman (1942-1947), the 13th District as City Councilman (1947-1958), and the 3rd District on the County Board of Supervisors (1958-1974). While in the State Assembly, he authored the bill establishing California State University, Los Angeles. As County Supervisor, he chaired thirteen major departments, and served on numerous other committees. The collection is approximately 182 linear feet and contains manuscripts from his tenure as County Supervisor.

This collection is currently being processed.

Ernest E. Debs
Ernest E. Debs making a parade appearance

Julian C. Dixon

Julian C. Dixon (1934-2000) served as a California State Assembly Member of the 49th Assembly District, and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 28th and 32nd Congressional Districts. Dixon graduated from California State University, Los Angeles in 1962. The materials in the collection include California Assembly files, press clippings, general office files, press releases, speeches, and photographs.

This collection is currently being processed.

Julian C Dixon
Julian C Dixon marching against Apartheid

Mervyn Dymally

Mervyn Dymally (1926-2012) served as California State Assemblyman for the 52nd and 53rd District, and as State Senator for the 29th District. Dymally completed a Bachelor of Arts in education at California State University, Los Angeles in 1954. Dymally is known for breaking barriers as a black lawmaker in California and in Congress after moving to the United States from his native Trinidad at age 19. The collection consists of government correspondence, press clippings, press releases, speeches, and photographs.

This collection is currently being processed but a digital exhibit, Mervyn M. Dymally: The Bridge-Builder of Los Angeles, is currently available for research.

Mervyn Dymally
Mervyn Dymally and Cesar Chavez

John C Holland

John C. Holland (1893-1970) was one of the longest serving Los Angeles City Council members, serving from 1943-1967. One of few who opposed the proposal, Holland was City Councilman during the contentious decision to abandon public housing plans in Chavez Ravine, and instead move forward with the construction of Dodger Stadium. The collection contains one of the very few remaining original eviction notices mailed out by the City of Los Angeles Housing Authority to residents of Chavez Ravine.

This collection is currently being processed.

John C Holland
John C Holland re-election campaign

Julian Nava

Julian C. Nava (1927- ) served on the Los Angeles City Board of Education and was a United States Ambassador to Mexico. Nava grew up in East Los Angeles and studied at East Los Angeles Community College before transferring to Pomona College. In 1955, Nava received his Doctorate in Latin American History from Harvard University. Nava is currently retired and holds the title of emeritus professor at CSU Northridge.

This collection is currently being processed.

Julian Nava
Julian Nava election flyer

Peace and Freedom Party Collection

The Peace and Freedom Party was founded on June 23, 1967, during the 1960’s civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. By 1968 the group gained national recognition and dedicated their efforts towards achieving their platform of a socialist, democratic, feminist, and racially equal society. They organized mass groups and rallies to protest and support political candidates to reform US political institutions. They formed tenant unions for renters and organized food co-ops, free health clinics and newsletters for the public and their followers. Additionally, they organized two successful statewide initiative campaigns: one in 1968, lowering the voting age to 18, and another in 1972 to repeal the capital gains tax loophole. They also helped numerous political candidates run for offices, such as Robert F. Kennedy and Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers. The materials in this collection were created from 1933-1980 and the majority of the collection is comprised of writings and publications related to various political and social issues.

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Peace and Freedom
Poster from activist group Women Strike for Peace

Other Collections

Bookplate Collection

Bookplates, or ex libris, are labels with a printed design intended to show ownership, usually pasted inside the front cover of a book. They are produced by various means such as woodcut, wood engraving, line engraving, etching, lithography, and modern photographic reproduction. The custom originated in Germany around the 15th century by Albrecht Duhrer. Our collection of 1,530 bookplates contains a wide variety of designs, designers, and subject matter. The collection includes designs of universities and colleges, clubs and organizations, and Gothic designs by H. Alfred Fowler, as well as a small series of publications about bookplates. Most of the publications were published by the American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers.

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Distinctive Collections
Annie Bocage Proctor bookplate, designed by Edna Crompton

Jewel Plummer Cobb Collection

Jewel Plummer Cobb (1924-2017), a distinguished African American biologist and academic administrator, is widely credited for her contributions to the scientific community, both through her cancer research and her commitment to equal access to educational and professional opportunities for women and minorities. The collection contains a wide variety of publications, pamphlets, newsletters, research reports, program proposals, newspaper and magazine clippings, conference materials and a series of academic articles from 1964-1995. The collection also includes Plummer Cobb’s personal notes and speech transcripts.

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Comic Book Collection

Perceived to be a staple of literary entertainment, comic books introduced readers to superheroes and fictional stories. One of the most iconic characters to emerge from the comic book era was Tarzan, “King of the Apes.” The story of a man who grew up to be the lord of the jungle, Tarzan swung through vines, battled fearsome creatures, and defeated powerful villains. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early 20th century, Tarzan captivated readers and became a comic book icon enjoying popularity for many decades. The rights were picked up and published by many companies over the years including DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Dell. The bulk of this collection features 1970s DC Tarzan comics, but also includes other comic books from 1961-1996 such as an issue of Batman, Mammy Yokum, Dennis the Menace, and Hurray for Andy Capp!

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Comic Book
Detailed look at a Tarzan comic

Charles Hubbell Aviation Print Collection

Charles Hubbell (1898 -1971) was an American commercial aviation artist who began a career as a commercial artist for companies such as Woodroot Hair Tonic, Lucky Tiger, and Campbell Soups. He is best remembered for his aviation artwork in annual calendars from 1941-1969 commissioned by Cleveland-based aircraft and automotive company, Thompson Products Inc. The production of the calendars in the collection are from 1944-1959 and depict a history of aviation through a series of relevant themes/styles of airplanes.

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Munitz Chess Collection

The Munitz Chess Collection, donated to Cal State LA by Dr. Barry Munitz in 2006, is comprised of over 400 volumes of rare chess books and serials. The collection also includes over 50 chess sets which exhibit a wide variety of artistic styles, materials, and designs, each offering a unique complement to the art of the game. Dr. Barry Munitz served as chancellor of the California State University system from 1991 to 1999 and is currently a Trustee Professor at California State University, Los Angeles.

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Munitz Chess 1
Russian chess book on display
Munitz Chess 2
Chess set from Munitz collection on display

Peruvian Textiles

The Peruvian Textiles Collection consists of products of the Chancay, Chimú, and Tiahuanaco cultures, with one example dating back to the Precolombina period. Most of the collection is that of the Chancay, an indigenous group that produced a variety of textiles such as clothing, bags, and funeral masks. The Chancay culture (1200-1450 A.D.) reigned mainly in the valleys of Chancay and Chillón on the central coast of Perú. The Chimú culture was active between the years 1000-1200 AD and embellished their fabrics with brocades, embroidery, fabrics doubles, and painted fabrics. The Tiahuanaco culture, a Pre-Inca civilization, developed between 400 B.C. and 120 A.D. Their typically geometric designs also included images of plants and animals such as fish, cats, birds, monkeys, and dogs. Ultimately, these textiles represent the skill, artistry, and cultural landscape of each civilization. This collection, originating from Lima, Perú and the surrounding cities, was donated by Dr. Ericka Verba, Director of Latin American Studies to the University Library and Special Collections and Archives. The Peruvian textiles were received undated, therefore their exact dates and original donor are unknown.

Peruvian Textiles Collection Guide

Peruvian Textile
800-year-old Peruvian textile sample from the Chancay culture

World War II Poster Collection

With the entrance of US Forces into World War II in 1941, the United States Government produced propaganda posters designed to increase support for the war on the home front. Posters encouraged the public to conserve materials for the war efforts, increase production of war materials, buy war bonds, and maintain secrecy. This collection houses a variety of posters from such artists as Norman Rockwell, Albert Dorne, and Fritz Siebel.

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FEDCO (Federal Employees Distribution Company)

The Federal Employee's Distribution Company (FEDCO) was founded in 1949 by 600 Los Angeles area postal workers. By 1984, FEDCO had nine stores with membership growing to over 3 million. Over time, deep discount merchandisers such as Wal-Mart and Costco drew large segments of FEDCO's business and in July of 1999, FEDCO filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With materials dated between 1957 and 2000, this collection consists of photographs, publications, sale books, and achievements related to FEDCO and its partners.

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