The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories
Pasadena Museum of History. Research Library and Archives
470 W. Walnut St.
Email: [email protected]
Repository URL: http://www.pasadenahistory.org/research/archiveslibrary.html
Repository description (extant): Pasadena Museum of History (known as the Pasadena Historical Society until 1994, and the Pasadena Historical Museum until 2002) was founded in 1924, just 50 years after the first members of the Indiana Colony settled along the banks of the Arroyo Seco. The original mission of the Society, which remains essentially unchanged today, was to collect, preserve, and exhibit materials that documented the founding and early history of the city. This was an ambitious, forward-looking mission statement in 1924, when the collections filled just one filing cabinet owned by one of the Society's founding members!
The Society got its first real home in 1932 in a room specifically designed for it as part of the new Civic Auditorium. By 1958, it had outgrown that space, so the collection was moved to the Pasadena Public Library, where it was staffed by its own volunteers. In 1970, the Paloheimo family donated the Fenyes estate to the Society. The Archives first occupied the basement level of the Mansion and later moved to the Curtin House, where it remained for the next 20 years. During the 1980s the Society, recognizing how valuable the collection and its research potential had become, hired its first professional archivist.
In 1993, the first phase of the History Center building was completed, allowing for the transfer of the Archives into environmentally-controlled quarters for the first time. The collections were reorganized, and access became much easier. The collections continue to expand through donations, finding tools are constantly being developed and updated, and use of the Archives by researchers from near and far continues.
Repository type: Museum
Black history collection