The formation of the Local History Collection of the Palos Verdes Library District began under the direction of librarian Jo Williams in 1969, two years after the completion of the original Peninsula Center Library. Housed in a small room behind the reference desk, it was open for public use just a few hours a week. In 1985, when Local History Librarian Lennie Blume was transferred to Malaga Cove Library, it moved with her to the historic first building of the Library District, where it lived for eighteen years.
A professional archivist’s evaluation of the collection in 2002 determined that for long-term preservation, the materials needed to be in a climate-controlled environment. The Peninsula Friends of the Library offered significant financial support through its Lincoln Cain Endowment Fund for necessary furnishings to create a new space just for the history collection. Dedicated on November 8, 2003, the Local History Room at Peninsula Center Library became the permanent home for the collection.
The Local History Collection presents a panorama of what was important in the Peninsula’s past, as well as what might be meaningful to future generations. It encompasses a variety of formats: books, school yearbooks, maps, photographs, newspaper clippings, genealogical data, early phonebooks, and ephemera. These resources do not circulate and must be used in the History Room.