A 1,000-page manuscript, The Development of Los Angeles City Government -- An Institutional History 1850-2000, will be delivered to the City Council this morning. The researchers pored through the municipal archives and came up with the first modern history book on the city of Los Angeles. Says Bob Pool in the Times:
The project was organized by former city record-keeper Hynda L. Rudd, who was shocked to find how casually official files were maintained when she served as the city's first designated archivist between 1980 and 1985....
"The old, old things were on shelves and fine. But newer stuff was scattered everywhere in boxes," said Rudd, 71, who was the city's records management officer between 1986 and 2001, when she retired.
In 1999 she recruited nearly three dozen historians and scholars for the project. Each used the city archives as the starting point for the research. Old reference books and vintage newspaper articles helped flesh out various chapters on debt, taxation and revenue; the city's justice system, police and fire departments; city planning and 20 other major topics.
"We divvied things up by subjects, not by decades," said Tom Sitton, retired head of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History's history department and the book's senior editor.
One thousand copies were printed by the Los Angeles Historical Society, with grants totaling $110,000 from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. If you want one the cost is $100 plus shipping, sold through Loyola Marymount University.
This weekend: At the Huntington Library on Saturday, 40 local historical collections and archives will exhibit their Los Angeles stuff. Admission and parking are free. Website