Access digital collections:
Several regional repositories hold rich collections related to Southern California architecture and design, including digital collections:
The Huntington Library holds numerous printed materials, maps and photographic collections that focus on architecture, interior design, landscape design and the built environment in Southern California. In order to discover relevant material across all collections, it is helpful to conduct a subject search within the library catalog. Results can be refined by using the "Modify Search" feature to specify material type, date and other criteria. Below are some sample subject searches that illustrate this process:
You can see all available digital collections on the landing page for the Huntington Digital Library (HDL). There are 24 subjects divided by collection, subject or material type. If you know which one interests you, you can click on the title or image and go directly to the collection's landing page. If you are less sure of where you want to begin, or if you want to search across all collections, the search box at the top is a great place to start. Within a search, the HDL allows users to filter material using facets that limit results to geographic location, date and collection type. These facets will appear on the left-hand side of the page after you begin browsing/searching. Note that the available facets change depending on the collection you are browsing. Since built and landscaped environmental materials are spread across collection areas, searching by geographic region, name, neighborhood or landmark can still produce a variety of results. Below are some sample searches to illustrate the process:
Two major collections in the HDL which contain a substantial amount of material related to design and the built environment are the Southern California Edison Photographs and Negatives collection and the Maynard L. Parker photograph collection.
The Los Angeles Public Library maintains a History of Your House guide that is useful for house historians. The resources listed on this guide provide information about previous owners, building permits and real estate transactions.
The Huntington holds a number of Southern California architects' papers, which you can view on our Collections by Architect page. To determine if there are drawings or plans related to your home, view each collection's finding aid for detailed information about the contents of the collection or contact a Librarian for assistance.