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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.
- 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.
- 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. .
- Palos Verdes College Photo Collection
- The photographs in this collection document the Palos Verdes College, a private, two-year, co-ed, liberal arts college, once located off of Crest Road in the Rolling Hills area of Rancho Palos Verdes. The college opened in September 1947 under the direction of founding president, Dr. Richard P. Saunders, who came to Palos Verdes from New York University. The site of the school was a former Army Air Force base, composed of barrack-like buildings. The site was temporary pending the construction of a large permanent campus on a nearby parcel of land. Due to a lack of funding, a permanent campus was never constructed. The College ultimately closed in August 1955. Photographs include snapshots and publicity shots. Many photographs were taken by photographer Peter Gowland and architect Harwell Harris. The subjects in the images include buildings, campus scenes, student activities, dormitories and sports.
- Palos Verdes Project Promotional Material Collection
- This collection includes brochures, booklets, flyers and leaflets used in promoting the first planned residential community on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Palos Verdes Estates. The sale of 3,000 acres divided into four districts, Valmonte, Malaga Cove, Lunada Bay and Miraleste started in 1923. The material in this collection provides a view of the development and transformation of an area from farmland to residential and town sites.
- Palos Verdes Woman's Club Collection
- This collection includes scrapbooks created by the Palos Verdes Woman's Club, the first local woman's club on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Established in 1926 when the Peninsula was first being developed, the goal of the all volunteer organization was "to bring women together interested in the community welfare of Palos Verdes Estates and to promote this welfare by such means as may from time to time seem expedient." The Palos Verdes Woman's Club sponsored community activities including concert recitals, holiday festivals, library projects, Sunday school programs, Easter services, and other family affairs. Its activities ranged from cultural and philanthropic events to church and civic affairs. During the Depression, the Club extended its charity to the families of unemployed parents of children in Harbor City by providing families with meat and bread. During World War II, the organization was involved in efforts on behalf of soldiers stationed in Palos Verdes. It organized a blood donation drive, raised funds for the soldiers, and hosted various events for their benefit. After the war, the Red Cross Chapter continued assisting the soldiers with blood bank deliveries, veteran's outings, and home service work. These scrapbooks document the activities of the Palos Verdes Woman's Club.