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Grant number like: PW-50952-11

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University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
Dace Taube (Project Director: July 2010 to April 2014)
Invisible L.A.: Documenting the Early 20th Century in the Dick Whittington Photographic Collection

Digitization of 34,000 nitrate negatives showing historic images of Los Angeles, taken by the Dick Whittington Studio from 1924 to 1934.

Through Invisible L.A.: Documenting the Early 20th Century in USC's Dick Whittington Photographic Collection, the USC Libraries will digitize 34,000 historic images of Los Angeles, ensure their long-term preservation, and provide online access via the USC Digital Library at The fragile nitrate negatives selected for the project provide an irreplaceable visual record of Los Angeles from 1924 to 1934, including architectural landmarks and landscape features that were lost with the city's rapid growth. The Whittington collection documents everything from the construction of the Leimert Park community in South L.A. to factories in the garment district and cultural events in 1930s Chinatown. Giving a comprehensive overview of L.A.'s most significant commercial photography studio, Invisible L.A. has tremendous value for documenting L.A.'s material and social history. It will support numerous cultural programs and research and teaching projects.

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$300,000 (approved)
$296,868 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 12/31/2013