On August 15, 2021, we hosted a hybrid panel discussion that brought together civic leaders, librarians, and archivists who are working collaboratively with communities and their archives to create a fully representative record of their experiences and history. Archives are created to document the human experience and societies. They are everywhere and made by everyone. Despite this, representation in institutional archives is an ever-present challenge that is tied to which stories are deemed relevant and which are overlooked. Scroll for a video of the previously recorded panel.Panelists... Read more
By: Caroline Sheehan, 2018-2019 Autry/Occidental College intern; Liza Posas, Head, Research Services and Archives
Jane Withers, actor, philanthropist, and doll collector, passed away Saturday August 9, 2021. She was surrounded by her family and friends. A testament to the range of her life’s achievements can be found everywhere: in newspaper and magazine articles, film reel footage, and in archive collections like those held at the Autry.
Jane Withers was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12, 1926. Her mother, Ruth, dreamt of having a child star, and gave her the name Jane... Read more
By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant
There is always a need to revisit archives and one of the great things about archives is that it is the raw materials that can be reinterpreted over and over again across time to create another story that relates to the now. And that’s one of the reasons why research is called research is because you’re searching over and over again. So, archives are not dusty, static elements for you to just observe, archives are really there for you to engage with and they’re dynamic and they also have a pulse... Read more
It was that first sentence that caught my attention and that ultimately led me down the rabbit hole of research. It is such an unusual statement to have written in a finding aid, a document that is meant to provide a summary of succinct facts that is useful for researchers. (A finding aid is a document that provides information about archival collections, including biographical information of the people it involves, descriptions of the types of materials it contains and how the collection is... Read more
Nicole Mitchell: “I custom-designed, and dyed antibacterial hemp face covers, Made-in-LA. I chose hemp because of its natural antibacterial properties, UV, and mold resistance. Hemp fabric gets softer and more durable with every wash cycle. Our first production runs, I decided to keep a minimalistic design with no logo or prints because our top priority was to produce quality protection for the people a quick as possible. Urbane face covers represent a movement of unity not only to protect our global health but to consume items where the product lifecycle will benefit... Read more
By Liza Posas, Head of Research Services and Archives
Meet the philanthropists, solo sojourners, political activists, artists, pioneering anthropologist, and local community members who make up the What’s Her Story: Women in the Archives exhibition at the Autry Museum. This exhibit showcases the 20th- and 21st-century women who documented their activities and created archives as a way to preserve a legacy in their own voice as well as archives found in the Autry’s holdings of institutional papers, government documents, and rare documents.
By: Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History dept.
Contributors to the Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI) captured powerful images of the Black Lives Matter protests. Some of the photographs captured messages of resistance that were inscribed across public spaces such as buildings, storefronts, sidewalks, vehicles, and statues. Whether these messages were written hastily with spray paint or took hours of careful precision, they all express the importance and... Read more
Añalisa Siemsen-McQuaide: “These were special fancy dress masks for a social distancing version of The Met Gala we did with the neighbors (socially distancing). It was for our daughters to have something to work on to take their minds off of being 'stuck in the house' and have a reason to dress up and feel fancy. My daughter loves fashion, so she was disappointed not see the outfits at the Met Gala, so we decided to do our own home version.“
By: Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History dept. ... Read more
Commercial photographers are an odd sort of cultural worker: responsible for showcasing the products that one ought to want, glimpses of vacations one ought to strive for, providing a keyhole into the lives of the celebrities one loves, and generally helping to visualize a zeitgeist. It’s rare that one ever bothers to learn who a commercial photographer is—for every Annie Leibovitz or Steven Meisel, there are innumerable other photographers who are more or less unknown to the wider public. Now, it would be unfair to count Theo Westenberger among the... Read more
By Victoria Bernal, Women in the Archives Social Media Manager
With 2020 thankfully behind us, this light-hearted 2021 calendar features the attractive citrus crate labels in the Autry’s archive. Citrus crate labels didn’t just sell oranges and lemons in wooden packing crates. These lithographs sold health, leisure, wealth, sunshine and an Eden that was California. Labels were carefully crafted by artists to create eye-catching images that differentiated produce that essentially all looked the same. In describing these designs in his book... Read more