Campus: CSU Nortridge -- October 09, 2002

CSUN Receives Grant to Digitally Preserve San Fernando Valley's Political, Social History

Cal State Northridge's library has received a $137,176 grant from the California State Library to preserve the San Fernando Valley's political and social history digitally.

The project will add to the university's acclaimed San Fernando Valley Digital History Library, which provides the public access to papers, photographs and other memorabilia about the area's rich and colorful past via the Web.

"Cal State Northridge's library is deeply committed to the preservation of the Valley's history," said Susan Curzon, dean of the University Library. "This project tells the story of the people who live here, their histories, hopes and dreams. The additional money will help ensure that the story is a complete one."

University librarians and archivists have been worked closely with local historical societies to select documents and images from their archives, as well as the university's, to be copied digitally and made available through the Web.

The San Fernando Valley History Digital Library, with the Web site address of, officially opened last year. Since it became public, the site receives more than 2,000 search requests each month.

By using the digital library, people can access a data base that brings together, for the first time, significant historical photographs, illustrations, maps, manuscripts, documents and related graphic materials from a variety of collections on the CSUN campus, including the Center for Photojournalism and Visual History, the Geography Department Map Library and the University Library's Special Collections.

It also taps into the collections of local historical societies, including Burbank, Calabasas, Campo de Cahuenga, Canoga-Owensmouth, Chatsworth and Topanga as well as the Little Landers Historical Society and Bolton Hall Museum and the Los Encinos State Historic Park.
"What we saw in the collections we've already put in the digital library was this gap in the social, political and ethnic history of the San Fernando Valley. Those are the areas we're looking to expand," said university archivist Robert Marshall.

Marshall said university librarians and archivists hope include more information about important political and social events that mark the Valley's history such as the secession movement, restrictive covenants, housing patterns and the bussing of school children. They also will work with minority groups and families who may not have their important papers and other memorabilia stored in a traditional archival setting.

The Oviatt Library is home to more than one million volumes, three million microfilms, 125,000 government publications, 7,798 periodical titles and an extensive historical collection of mixed media, rare books and archives. It serves as the main research facility for the San Fernando Valley.

California State University, Northridge has more than 32,500 full- and part-time students and offers 59 bachelor's and 41 master's degrees as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, it is the only four-year university in the San Fernando Valley and the third largest in the 23-campus CSU system. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges recently said CSUN "stands as a model to other public urban institutions of higher education."

Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
[Bakersfield] [Chancellor's Office] [Channel Islands] [Chico]
[Dominguez Hills] [East Bay] [Fresno] [Fullerton] [Humboldt] [Long Beach] [Los Angeles] [Maritime Academy] [Monterey_Bay] [Northridge] [Pomona] [Sacramento] [San Bernardino] [San Diego] [San Francisco] [San Jose] [San Luis Obispo] [San Marcos] [Sonoma] [Stanislaus]