Search this Collection
Welcome to the Palos Verdes Library District Digital Repository!
This archive includes materials held in the Palos Verdes Library District Local History Room. Located in the Peninsula Center Library, the Local History Room makes available for research and personal study a variety of materials that reflect the heritage and unique history of the development of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Included in the collection are published histories, photographs, clipping files, pamphlets, oral histories, maps and records of area organizations.
As more of our content is digitized, we will be posting here in our digital repository.
- 40 Families Project Photo Collection
- In the early 1900s, when the Palos Verdes Peninsula was mainly ranch land, Japanese farmers began cultivating about 2000 coastal acres, which stretched from Malaga Cove to Western Avenue. Using special dry farming methods with crops that flourished in moist air conditions, these farmers played a significant role in providing vegetables for California dinner tables, as well as garbanzo beans for worldwide markets. On November 24, 1923, approximately 40 first generation Japanese families gathered to commemorate the completion of a community building which would be used for meetings, language classes, judo lessons, and social events. The celebration was captured in a large photograph, which hangs in the Local History Center. The 40 Families History Project began as an effort to discover the names of these families, and to put the children with the right parents. Publicity about the Project brought descendants to the Library who recognized grandparents, supplied initial information, and shared family photos. Public records such as the 1920 and ’30 federal censuses, online immigration databases, and the National Archives Internee Files added more information. Conversations with relatives and neighbors gradually fleshed out the paper records. After identifying about 120 of the 187 faces on the photograph, suddenly knowing just the names was not enough. The Project expanded to learning more about the people themselves: Where did they come from? What brought them here? What was life like for them? Where were they sent during the war? Did they return to the Peninsula afterward? As more information was collected, separate files about each family were constructed. A ride past these 2000 acres of today’s Peninsula coastline, with its sumptuous homes, Terranea Resort, and Trump Golf Club, gives no indication of the former wide open space where rolling slopes, dotted here and there with farmhouses, looked directly out to the sea. The original stated mission of the 40 Families Project was “to preserve the soon-to-be-forgotten history of the Peninsula’s Japanese American settlement to educate future generations.” New advances in technology and the dedication of local history researchers are helping to accomplish that mission. The Project remains vibrant and on-going, and any additional stories, pictures, memories, or documents relating to these people are welcomed.
- Chadwick School Image Collection
- This is a collection of images of the Chadwick School.
- City of Rolling Hills Estates Photo Collection
- This collection includes photos scanned from original photos held by the City of Rolling Hills Estates. These images were scanned as part of a community wide scanning event held by the Palos Verdes Library District in 2016, called Your Story is the Peninsula's Story (Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, #40-8615) to help preserve and make accessible the unique history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Images range in time from the beginnings of the City in 1957 to the 1990s. The City of Rolling Hills Estates became Los Angeles County’s 60th municipality on September 18, 1957. It incorporated in part to maintain the rural atmosphere and equestrian lifestyle of the community which is illustrated in these images., Digitization and description of materials by Local History Center volunteers Alex Dan and Sabrina Ponce.
- Collection of photographs of Palos Verdes Boy Scout Troop #274
- This collection includes early photographs of the first boy scout troop on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Troop #247 was registered by the Los Angeles County Boy Scouts in December, 1935 and its charter was adopted in January 1936. The first scout masters were George McLane and Bud Hargrave. There were 15 members of the first troop.
- Edward Gardner (E.G.) Lewis Collection
- This collection includes documents and photographs from the Edward Gardner Lewis Papers. Lewis optioned to purchase 16,000 acres of land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula from Frank Vanderlip, Sr. and was general manager of the project from 1922-1923. The photographs in this collection are believed to be some of the earliest photographs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula prior to development and include images of farm life throughout the Peninsula.
- Images of the Palos Verdes Library District
- This collection includes photographs of the buildings and facilities of the Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD). Established in 1928, PVLD is an independent library district serving the four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula: Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. The district's facilities and locations generally follow the growth and the development on the Peninsula. The Malaga Cove Library, the district's first library, was completed in 1930 in the City of Palos Verdes Estates where much of the population was concentrated. This library served as the only library for the Peninsula until 1967 when the Peninsula Center Library was built in the City of Rolling Hills Estates. The Miraleste Library was completed in 1970 to serve the rapidly growing population on the eastern side of the Peninsula in what would become the City of Rancho Palos Verdes (1973). From the classical Mediterranean revival style of the Malaga Cove Library designed by Myron Hunt to A. Quincy Jones' Mid-Century modern design of the Peninsula Center Library, the photographs in this collection show different architectural styles and focuses of the Library throughout PVLD's history.
- The Marineland Collection includes postcards, guides and materials related to Marineland.
- Monthly and Annual Reports of the Weather Service of the U.S. and the Palos...
- This volume of weather reports by meteorologist Ford Ashman Carpenter provides a rare glimpse of the Palos Verdes Peninsula just prior to the first wave of the Peninsula's development in the 1920s. Commissioned by Frank Vanderlip and the Palos Verdes Syndicate who purchased the property in 1913, Carpenter installed weather stations on the Peninsula and recorded details of the area's temperature, relative humidity, wind velocity and sunshine from 1914 to 1920. The data was used by the Syndicate and developers to help determine the best areas suited for building sites, reservoirs and roads. Carpenter's work is one of the first known practical applications of meteorological data. In addition to weather data, Carpenter also includes photographs and descriptions of the great kelp beds along the shore, farming activity and the wildflowers of the Peninsula., Digitized as part of the Your Story is the Peninsula's Story (Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, #40-8615) to help preserve and make accessible the unique history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Digitization and upload by Local History Center volunteers and interns.
- Pacific Unitarian Church Photo Collection
- This collection includes photographs of the Pacific Unitarian Church located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California taken shortly after the church was completed in 1965. Images include several taken by renowned photographer Julius Shulman, an architectural photographer known for his photos of California mid-century modern architecture. The church was designed by Carlton Winslow, Jr., an architect who specialized in church structures.
- Palos Verdes Bulletin
- The Palos Verdes Bulletin was a monthly newsletter which began publication in November 1924. It was produced by the Palos Verdes Homes Association and distributed freely to homeowners, lot owners, residents, and potential buyers of land which became Palos Verdes Estates. The Bulletin contained news on the activities of the Homes Association, the Art Jury, and the general progress of the Palos Verdes Project development. Information on new buildings, architecture standards, landscaping ideas, and amenities such as the golf course, the riding stables, and the swim club was accompanied by numerous photographs. The Bulletin also detailed the burgeoning social life of the residents as they sought to establish vital institutions such as a school system, a library, a woman’s club, an art gallery, and a church, in addition to strong friendships. From time to time, it also contained profiles of key Project personnel and community members including Myron Hunt, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., Charles Cheney, and Romayne Martin. The Bulletin in its original format was published monthly from November 1924 to October 1931, when it ceased publication due to financial conditions related to the Depression. It began again in October 1932, paid for by a few local advertisers and subscriptions. Reduced to four pages and without photographs, it still survived only until June 1933. In 1941 the Palos Verdes Peninsula Publishing Company was formed and the Bulletin reappeared as an expanded 20-page, bimonthly publication, filled with many features and advertising. Beginning optimistically on January 30, 1941 and paid for by local advertisers and subscriptions, editor Pierre Lamure was forced to discontinue the Bulletin with the March 13, 1942 issue, when the effects of a nation at war became insurmountable. As the only local publication of its kind, the original 8-page glossy Palos Verdes Bulletin of 1924-1931 provides a significant account of the transformation of a sparsely populated agricultural and ranching area into one of the nation’s first planned communities. The digitization of these issues was made possible in part by Grant #40-8615 of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The collection descriptions are by Local History Center volunteers, Marjeanne Blinn, Alex Dan and J Lee Hong. .