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Local History Center Policies

Collection Development Policy

General Description Part of the Mission Statement of the Palos Verdes Library District is to "facilitate the preservation of the Peninsula's history."  In support of this commitment, the Local History Center maintains a non-circulating, special collection within the Library.  The purpose of the Center is to acquire, organize, preserve, and make available materials relating to the history, culture, people, geology, and natural wonders of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.  

General Scope The focus of the collection is on the Palos Verdes Peninsula from pre-history to the present.  This includes its early Native American inhabitants, its status as a Sepulveda family land grant in 1827, the Bixby ownership, the Vanderlip Palos Verdes Project, the area's role in World War II, its institutions and businesses, the formation of its four cities, as well as the people and events of its more recent past.  A special collection known as the Forty Families History Project features information on the Japanese families who farmed the Peninsula between 1906 and their internment in 1941.  Because of the extensive acreage of the original Rancho de los Palos Verdes, materials on the early history of neighboring cities are also considered.

Collection Parameters Collection parameters may be described as COMPREHENSIVE, MODERATE, BASIC, and OUT-OF-SCOPE. 

Materials on the Palos Verdes Peninsula are comprehensive, and are collected in all formats.  Emphasis is placed on materials about the history, people, flora, fauna, geology, architecture, and institutions of the Peninsula.  While interest in the history of the four cities is active, municipal documents are not collected, except for some environmental impact reports of general interest.

Materials on the neighboring cities (Redondo Beach, Torrance, Lomita, San Pedro) are moderate.  The depth of the collection of these materials is determined by the historical time frame of coverage, i.e., before the cities were incorporated when the areas were part of the Peninsula.  Though some overlap may be expected, an attempt is made not to duplicate materials already heavily collected by existing historical institutions in these cities.

Materials on Long Beach, Los Angeles County, and Southern California are basic.
Since the LA Harbor area influenced the Peninsula's development, and since the Library District serves a portion of southern LA County, these materials are evaluated for their connection to the Peninsula's history.  Such items often serve better by being added to the Library's general collection, with relevant portions photocopied for the Local History Center files.  Long Beach had connections to Palos Verdes through its early newspaper coverage of pre-1925 Peninsula stories, as well as its ties to the Bixby family.  Researchers interested in more information about Long Beach history are referred to the strong historical collection at the Long Beach Public Library.

Although there are a few rare volumes which will remain in the collection, materials on Los Angeles City and California in general are out-of scope for the Local History Collection.  Such materials are considered as possible additions to the Library's general collection, or donated to the Los Angeles Public Library, which maintains major departments for both California and Los Angeles City and County history.  The one exception to this is the Federal Census microfilm for California for 1860, 1870, and a portion of 1880, a donation which became part of Peninsula Center Library's film collection in 2000.

Selection and Acquisition Materials are collected in all formats.  Titles or items may be purchased, donated, received in trade, or photocopied or scanned from borrowed originals.  Local newspapers and groups, publisher flyers, catalogs and reviews, personal contact, and word-of-mouth offerings are frequent sources on information about materials of interest.  Used book dealers and published bibliographies are sometimes helpful in locating older out-of-print materials.  Since the Palos Verdes Peninsula is a relatively small area, most sources will probably be generated closer to home.  Authority to acquire library materials rests with the Collection Manager, in consultation with the Reference Department Manager and the Library Director, if applicable.

It should be noted that the Local History Collection is an archival collection of a very specialized nature.  We will actively continue to seek and collect items related to PVP history, and others according to the parameters outlined above.  Building an awareness of the holdings of neighboring historical entities, and creating partnerships with them for referral and cooperation may also be used to extend our collection.

Gifts and Donations Gifts and donations to the Local History Collection are welcome.  However, since the collection is of specialized subject matter housed in limited space, donated materials must be relevant to and consistent with the parameters already stated. 

Not collected are:

  • artifacts, realia, or other 3-dimensional objects best suited to a museum,
  • materials in poor physical condition, e.g., badly torn, moldy, water damaged,
  • duplicate copies of material already in the collection, unless rare.

Correspondence, diaries, and/or memoirs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Large collections of photographs, personal papers, and other archival materials are not collected without consultation between the Local History Collection Manager and the Library Director.  Books by local authors may be welcome as donations but are not actively sought, since copies are usually placed in the Library's circulating collection.

Staff members are not authorized to appraise or otherwise place a monetary value on donations.  Donors wishing to take income tax deductions must obtain an independent appraisal.

The District reserves the right to accept or reject any proposed gift or donation, as well as any conditions placed upon them.  (Trustee Policies and Procedures Manual, sec. 5060.0.)  Potential donations which would require an "on deposit" or a "temporary loan" status are not accepted.  It is preferred that any materials donated to the Local History Collection be considered outright gifts, without restriction as to use or future disposition.  If incorporated into the collection, the materials become the sole property of the Library District, which in turn will take care to preserve them and make them accessible according to established professional standards.

Weeding and Retention Materials concerning the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula are rarely weeded.  However, transfer to another medium may be likely as technology advances or need for preservation becomes acute.  In such cases, materials may be photocopied, microfilmed, or digitized as needed and appropriate.

The Library District reserves the right, with all due discretion, to sell, discard, return to donor, or redistribute materials if necessary.  When multiple copies of materials exist, those in the best condition are preserved, and badly damaged or non-repairable ones discarded.

Copyright and Reproduction As owner of the Local History Collection materials, the Library District retains copyright for them.  Copies may be made for personal use unless material is fragile.  However, when photographs or other items are reproduced for publication or commercial purposes, prior permission from the District must be obtained, and credit for ownership given.  The credit statement shall read: Palos Verdes Library District, Local History Collection.

Rev. 7/2008

Copyright Policy

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.  Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction.  One such condition is that the photocopy or other reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research."  If a user requests and later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Though the Palos Verdes Library District is willing to allow reproduction of an item from its collection at the user's request, the District is unable to conduct copyright searches nor grant copyright clearance to items for which it does not own copyright.  Neither can the District waive copyright as it applies to its collection.  In addition, the District cannot counsel researchers in the application of copyright law.

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of the copyright law.

Duplication of local history collection materials does not in any way transfer either copyright or property right, nor does it constitute permission to publish or display.

Reproduction Policy

Personal Use Copies of materials in the Local History Collection are conditionally offered as a service for the personal use of readers and researchers.  Requests are accepted according to the following criteria:

  • Duplication can be made without damage to the original item.
  • The request complies with any known donor agreements.
  • The nature and amount of materials to be duplicated does not unduly delay use of the materials by other readers and researchers.

Photographs Please view the Photograph Order Form for our policy.

Publication The Palos Verdes Library District is considered the copyright holder of the Local History Collection's photographs.  If they are to be used for any commercial purpose, including book, newspaper, magazine, broadcast, and/or interior decor, permission is required from the District before duplication.  Proper credit must be given as, "Palos Verdes Library District, Local History Collection."

The publisher/producer shall furnish the Palos Verdes Library District, without charge, one copy of the publication in which the photographs appear.

To request further information about commercial or repeated media usage, please contact one of the following: