The Historical Society of Long Beach (HSLB) was formed in 1962 with the mission to collect, preserve, and present the city’s history. Throughout the years the HSLB has occupied many locations around the city, settling at its current location in Bixby Knolls in 2007. Operations are sustained at the HSLB by grant funding, membership dues, and community fundraising through programs and events.
Collections at the HSLB include an extensive photograph collection (including the studios of Lawrence Inman, the Winstead Brothers, A.C. Brown, and Joe Risinger), City Manager’s Files ranging from 1923 through 1953, maps, blueprints, city directories, and bound volumes of local newspapers including the Press-Telegram and Independent.
The HSLB hosts various programs throughout the year including a recorded oral history series, an architecture and hors d’oeuvres tour, panel discussions, and a historical cemetery tour. The storefront gallery space in Bixby Knolls is utilized to present rotating exhibitions. Past exhibits include Chrome! Cruisin’, Clubs & Drag Strips, Long Beach Remembers Pearl Harbor, Black Gold: Oil in the Neighborhood, Coming Out in Long Beach, and the current exhibit is Water Changes Everything, exploring the way water has affected the city of Long Beach, and the ways we have affected our water.