The stories of Los Angeles will be on display this weekend as the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar returns for its 16th event at the University of Southern California’s Doheny Memorial Library.
The event is a product of LA as Subject, a collaboration of organizations and history-keepers who seek to not only document the history of Los Angeles but make it easier for Angelenos to access and experience the history of their home region.
“They’re running the gamut from kids, college students, people from neighborhoods or amateur historians to those who are deep researchers,” said Liza Posas, coordinator of LA as Subject and head of research services and archives at the Autry Museum. “It’s all about Los Angeles; I think Los Angeles, the city, the county, the myth has a different feeling to different people.”
This year’s Archives Bazaar is a hybrid-style event with both on-site exhibitors from all across Southern California, as well as virtual exhibitors presenting collections and collaborations reflecting both distant and recent LA history.
The day’s virtual events begin at 10 a.m. and include a discussion about COVID-related collections from across SoCal, what we can learn from those pieces and an examination of LA’s local historic preservation program. The day will also feature an exploration of author Octavia Butler’s own personal archives.
“She’s from Los Angeles, she’s an African American woman who broke the boundaries within the genre and there are so many cases of that in this part of the Western United States where people are making their own discoveries and breaking the mold," Posas said.
In-person workshops will allow visitors and local archivists to watch and listen to old home movies and audio recordings with vintage (often analog) equipment. Archival experts will be on hand to teach people how to properly care for and store their collections.
The bazaar will include exhibits from more than 30 in-person exhibitors, including collections from across LA and Orange counties, as well as the archives of various genealogical, ethnic and cultural archivists. As Posas puts it, it’s a celebration of collected knowledge.
“There are always events that celebrate historical events or anniversaries. But there’s rarely anything that celebrates the archives that help interpret all of those histories,” Posas said. “You can’t celebrate a history without archive collections.”
Attendees are asked (but not required) to RSVP, though all on-campus guests must conduct a day-of COVID symptom check, using USC’s “Trojan Check” program. All attendees will be required to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.
For more information or to RSVP, visit laassubject.org/archives-bazaar.