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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.
- 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.
- Peninsula Center Library Photographs by Julius Shulman
- This collection includes interior and exterior photographs taken by renowned photographer Julius Shulman of the Peninsula Center Library shortly after it opened in 1967. Julius Shulman, 1910-2009, was an architectural photographer known for his photos of California mid-century modern architecture. The black and white photographs of the Peninsula Center Library, designed by one of the leading Modernist architects, A. Quincy Jones, capture the unique architectural features of the building and its classic modern design and furnishings.
- Preliminary Plans for Hollywood - Palos Verdes and Sepulveda Parkways
- This collection includes plans and drawings developed in 1926 by famed landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr for the Los Angeles County Acquisition and Improvement District (No 15). The plans and drawings in Olmsted job #8101, "Hollywood - Palos Verdes Boulevard, Southwest District Parkways, Los Angeles County, California," outline a proposed parkway extending from the Palos Verdes Peninsula through the cities in the South Bay area to Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
- Rolling Hills Estates Woman's Club
- This collection includes materials created by the Rolling Hills Estates Woman's Club (RHEWC). Established in April 1960, it joined the General Federation of Women's Clubs the same year as a member of Marina District No. 18. RHEWC dedicated its activities to public welfare, civic engagement, and philanthropic projects. It sponsored Juniorettes, a community-oriented volunteer service organization for high school girls. The Club made contributions to a number of area organizations including the Toberman Settlement House, the Gardena Valley Association for Mentally Challenged Children, the Community Association of the Peninsula's Exploring Growth Opportunities, City of Hope, the Switzer Center, Rainbow Services for Battered Women, the Norris Theatre Building Fund, and Harbor Interfaith Shelter. The Club officially disbanded in 2011. Collection digitized by Local History Center volunteer, J. Lee.
- Sam Williams' Images of the Peninsula
- This collection of photographs by photographer Sam Williams provides a snapshot of well known landmarks and buildings on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Taken in 1975, they offer a glimpse of the Peninsula after the boom in residential and commercial building construction of the 1950s and 1960s. When compared to earlier photographs of the same structures, these images show how much and, in some cases, how little the Peninsula has changed. They also document a fifty year span of architectural styles, from Mediterranean or Spanish to Mid-Century Modern, and the works of architects and architectural firms during that time such as Walter Swindell Davis, Frank Lloyd Wright, Flewelling, Moody & Horn, Quigley & Clark, Carrington H. Lewis and Young & Remington.
- Save Our Coastline newsletters and publications
- The Save Our Coastline collection includes newsletters and publications sent to residents of the Palos Verdes Peninsula informing them of building and development issues in the unincorporated areas of the Peninsula. Started by the Citizens' Emergency Committee to Save Our Coastline, the publications were part of a grassroots effort aimed at preserving and protecting the character of the area by controlling development along the coastline. The Save Our Coastline effort eventually led to the incorporation of the Peninsula's fourth and final city, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to ensure local control over the Peninsula's development.
- Telephone Directories
- This collection contains some of the earliest directories for the Palos Verdes Peninsula and surrounding areas held in the Palos Verdes Library District telephone directory collection. Published by Associated Telephone Company, the directories cover Palos Verdes Estates, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and contiguous areas. Directories digitized by Local History Center volunteer, Jeremy Berry-Cahn.