Home has been on our minds, our screens and our realities for more than half this year. The current worldwide pandemic has affected us all and our homes have been the center of it all. Homes have been transformed into workplaces, classrooms and so many other things - making this exhibit’s theme more resonant than ever. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of L.A. as Subject as well as the 15th anniversary of the Archives Bazaar. In marking these important anniversaries during this history-making year, we chose to center our exhibition on the theme of home, and to reflect on Los Angeles as our home and how it has been and continues to be the home for both well-known and little-known stories.
Los Angeles is home to millions of people and also to hundreds of repositories containing the histories and stories of people that have called Los Angeles home for the last couple of centuries. Documenting and creating access to these stories led to the creation of the L.A. as Subject research project in 1995 and to the publication of the directory in 1999. Like many of the items included in this exhibit, L.A. as Subject is the first consortium and directory of its kind and is the model for Archives Bazaars all over the country. This is the first online exhibit in the History Keepers program, a yearly L.A. as Subject exhibit that brings together materials from collections of L.A. as Subject members.
L.A. has been home to the first Disneyland, the first freeway in the western United States, the first internet message and so many other firsts. L.A. as Subject member repositories and collections document the vast numbers of people that have migrated to and from the Los Angeles area. For many people, the vast sprawl of L.A. County is their first home in the United States. This movement in and across the sprawling city and county of Los Angeles has allowed unique communities and neighborhoods to develop. The eclectic mixtures of architecture illustrated in this exhibition is demonstrative of the landscapes that make L.A. so unique. The last section - but by no means the least - are some examples of the historic home museums that have been the homes of iconic families that have left a lasting impact on Los Angeles.