The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) is an incredible resource for anyone interested in southern California history. Like most people, however, I don’t have the time to visit the library in person whenever I want or need to research a particular topic or find that amazing historic photo of some person, place or event.
To help address this problem, the library has made a concerted effort to make its vast collections more readily available to the public through an ambitious digitalization project. It has also put portions of select library exhibitions online for those who were unable to see them when originally on display.
What can you find online via the LAPL’s web site? Here is just a sample:
- The Virtual Gallery – selected exhibitions mounted by the library
- The Electronic Neighborhood – a unique one-stop information resource for information on California and regional history topics made up of regional history databases
- The Library’s History and Genealogy Department’s Photo Collection – emphasizes the history of Los Angeles, Southern California, and California.
- Visual Collections – browse (or search) the Library’s growing collection of digitized visual material (this is separate from the photo collection mentioned above)
- Indexes of Library Collections – discover the riches of the library’s holdings, such as the autograph collection, menu collection, Japanese print collection and public art index, just to name a few.
Whether you live in southern California or some other part of the world, you can gain a deeper understanding of the City of Los Angeles, southern California and the state by spending some time online. So point your browser to one or more of the links I’ve provided above and begin to explore the wonders of the Los Angeles Public Library from the comfort of your home or office. I think you’ll be amazed at what you find.