CSUN Awarded Grant to Preserve L.A. History and Train Future Librarians

The Delmar T. Oviatt Library. Photo by Lee Choo.

The Delmar T. Oviatt Library. Photo by Lee Choo.

The Delmar T. Oviatt Library at California State University, Northridge is part of a team of libraries across the Los Angeles area that have been awarded a grant to preserve the region’s history and to train future librarians.

As part of the grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program, the staff in the Oviatt Library will mentor two students as they work with representatives from the community-based archives to document the history and culture of Los Angeles. The IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program provides funds for training early-career librarians to manage emerging challenges in libraries and librarianship.

The Autry National Center Libraries and Archives and CSUN’s Oviatt Library partnered with the USC Libraries to develop the successful proposal and residency program.

Throughout the term of the grant, CSUN, USC and the Autry will host and mentor two residents, who in turn will work with community-based archives as well as the “L.A. as Subject” membership. Hosted by the USC Libraries, “L.A. as Subject” is comprised of 230 libraries, museums, archives, and private collections of valuable primary resources and other materials that document the history and culture of Los Angeles.

“No single institution can capture and preserve the stories that make up the totality of Los Angeles,” said Catherine Quinlan, dean of USC Libraries. “This generous support from the IMLS helps the USC Libraries and our partners ensure that the many collections of less-visible Los Angeles histories become sustainable resources for scholarship on Southern California, the American West and our city as a Pacific Rim metropolis.”

The library residents will help smaller organizations and individual collectors apply a high archival standard and practice to make certain their collections become and remain accessible to students, scholars and the global community of researchers studying the history and meaning of Los Angeles.

The $440,000 grant supports six residents over a period of three years. L.A. as Subject will issue a call for proposals from community archives and private collectors, and match residents with archives relating to their research interests.

For more information about the IMLS grants, policy development, research help libraries and museums, visit http://www.imls.gov.

For more information about the research alliance, “L.A. as Subject,” visit www.laassubject.org.