Library Event Explores Images of Women in the Post-War San Fernando Valley

The popular image of suburban women in the years following World War II has generally been exemplified by television’s happy homemakers, Donna Reed and June Cleaver.

 However, Christina Rice, a senior librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library, will dispel that stereotype with her presentation, “Defining Their Identity: The Changing Roles of Women in the Post-War Era,” on Friday, April 17, at 11:30 a.m. at the Orange Grove Bistro.

North Hollywood architect Lucille Raport

North Hollywood architect Lucille Raport pictured in newspaper in 1961.

Rice will explore the changing roles of women through the lens of the library’s Valley Times image archive. The San Fernando Valley has come to exemplify the post-war suburban growth that took place throughout the country, and the Valley Times newspaper was there to document this expansion along with the Valley’s dynamic women in their various roles.

“As we began archiving this collection, we expected many of the photos to focus on homemakers, women’s clubs, prom queens, etc., which tends to be the prevailing image of women in the immediate post-war era,” Rice said. “Those images certainly do exist, but we have also uncovered women assuming a variety of professional roles such as architects, engineers and rocket scientists, which, at least for me, was completely unexpected.”

 The event is hosted by the Friends of the Library. Reservations are required and include a buffet lunch for $20.

For more information or to make reservations, visit the library’s webpage or call (818) 677-2638.