The San Fernando Valley History Digital Library is the first effort to assemble, digitize and make globally available historically significant documents, manuscripts, photographs and related graphic materials from public and private collections in the San Fernando Valley. It provides full, open and equal access to materials demonstrating the socio-economic changes and cultural evolution of the San Fernando Valley from the early 19th century through the end of the 20th century.
The digital library database brings together significant historical photographs, illustrations, maps, manuscripts, documents and related graphic materials from a variety of collections located on the CSUN campus, including the Center for Photojournalism and Visual History, the Geography Department Map Library, and the Oviatt Library's Special Collections, which includes the Urban Archives and the University Archives. Added to these items are selected images from twenty-nine local historical societies in the San Fernando Valley.
The Oviatt Library began developing the San Fernando Valley History Digital Library project concept in 1999. The Oviatt Library is currently a partner in digital projects documenting the history and cultural recovery of Los Angeles. These projects include Faces of Los Angeles (Getty Information Institute), and Cultural Inheritance LA (Getty Research Institute and L.A. as Subject Advisory Forum).
The Digital Library was conceived in the spring 2000 after meeting with the newly formed San Fernando Valley Heritage Network. A project committee was formed consisting of Dean Susan Curzon, Tony Gardner, Curator of Special Collections and Archives, Robert Marshall, Head Archivist, and Cindy Ventuleth, Director of Development for the Library to submit a grant proposal to the State Library for funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant Program. Grant funding provided for equipment, database development and staffing for one year.
Over a period of one year from October 1, 2000 to September 30, 2001, project staff borrowed, scanned, and cataloged objects borrowed from members of the Heritage Network and from collections in the Oviatt Library's Special Collections, Urban Archives Center, and University Archives and the Geography Department's Map Library.
Today the Oviatt Library's archival holdings represent the largest and most complete assembly of information on the San Fernando Valley.
This project was supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the California State Librarian.
To inquire about our holdings of these and similar collections please visit the Oviatt Library Special Collections and Archives.