Welcome to the Los Angeles City Historical Society's database of selected photographs in the Los Angeles City Archives. The site has approximately 650 photographs taken by Los Angeles city engineering staff from 1890s through to the 1950s. Each photograph is also accompanied by historical data, where available to the curator of the collection.
You can use the simple keyword search if you are looking for images from a particular time period or of a particular street or neighborhood. Use a word you think will appear in the records you are searching for. You can search by community name such as Chinatown, Venice, Westwood, or "Downtown" Los Angeles, as well as Glendale and "San Fernando." You can search for a specific street or bridge, or generically search for bridges, streets, and such topics as "floods," "Los Angeles River." Note that any search for a street or community with more than one word, such as "Echo Park," "Silver Lake," "Sherman Oaks," must include quotation marks before first word and after the last word, as in "Los Angeles River." You can also search by date of photographs as well. Or you can simply click on the link above that reads "Random Images," and scroll through the images and accompanying information.
Be sure to click on the File # in order to bring up historical information as well as the photo that you can click on to enlarge.
To order copies of these and other photographs in the collection, please contact the Los Angeles City Archivist Michael Holland and use the File Number that is listed for the photograph: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call him to request additional information at 213-473-8441.