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Local History Center Collections & Projects

The Local History Collection presents a panorama of Peninsula history. It encompasses a variety of formats including original records, books, school yearbooks, maps, photographs, newspaper clippings, genealogical data, and early phonebooks. These resources do not circulate and must be used in the Local History Center located at the Peninsula Center Library. Take a look at the Local History Center's projects!

Doors Open Peninsula 2023: Celebrating 100 Years of History on the Palos Verdes Peninsula (DOP 2023)

June 17, 1923 Real Estate Rally in Malaga Cove

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is celebrating a big birthday in 2023 and the Local History Center is planning an event to commemorate this occasion.  It was on Saturday, June 17, 1923 that a real estate rally was held on the grounds of the Malaga Cove School (now the PVPUSD Administration Building) to entice people to purchase property here.  The rally basically launched the modern development of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. 

 Working the Peninsula Friends of the Library (PFL) and Peninsula cities and organizations, the Local History Center is spearheading Doors Open Peninsula 2023: Celebrating 100 Years of History on the Palos Verdes Peninsula (DOP 2023) to commemorate this historic event.  DOP 2023 is a Peninsula-wide open house and your opportunity to learn about the Peninsula's rich history, architecture, cultural institutions, people and open spaces in celebration of this milestone date. 

  •  40 Families Project focuses on preserving the soon-to-be-forgotten history of the Peninsula's Japanese-American settlement prior to WWII.  
    Your Story is the Peninsula's Story

  • made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (40-8615) and the Peninsula Friends of the Library, seeks to engage the Peninsula community in documenting its own history through public scanning events and a dedicated website, YSPS Online, allowing the public to contribute online. These materials are made available through the Digital Archives. 
    • NEW! The Local History Center has created a "themed" YSPS project in celebration of Palos Verdes Art Center's 90th Anniversary to run from 2021-2022!  Do you have images that tell your PVAC story?  Perhaps you have photos from Art At Your Fingertips, or from attending classes, workshops and summer camps at the Center.  Maybe you have photos from your parents’ association with The Circle, Associates, The Docent Council or one of PVAC's artist groups? Or how about photos from the annual Art For Fun(d)s Sake community celebration or travels to Cuba or another location with PVAC? Click on the PVAC@90 and YSPS Logo to access the form and tell your story. 
  • Working with the City of Palos Verdes Estates, we created a series of geocaches called 'PVE - Turns 75!' in celebration of the city's 75th anniversary.  The caches provide a mini history lesson of the spot where the geocache is located.
  • Since 2016, we've worked with Berkeley-based StoryCenter to bring digital storytelling to our community.  With California Listens, a grant-funded project of the California State Library resident storytellers wrote, narrated and created a digital video about their life experience. From immigration, community building, motherhood, recovering from disaster and more – these movies are a celebration of creativity and history as lived by our storytellers.  This was followed by a series of stories on Women & Power and our first Veteran's Voices, both series available on our YouTube channel.  
  • In 2018, we completed a project with the National Association for Olmsted Parks to include Olmsted projects from the Palos Verdes Peninsula on the Olmsted Online website. Once you are on the site, click on the map to explore, photos, plans and drawings of these Peninsula sites. 
  • 'Pedal PV,' created during the Corona Virus Pandemic 2020, is a vlog series that takes the history of the Peninsula out of the Library.  Each episode brings a slice of Peninsula history and ranges from the natural and built environment to our social history.  Videos are are available on the Pedal PV Playlist of the Library's YouTube channel.  The Peninsula's history is fascinating - whether you bike, walk or jog. 

Pedal PV - Exploring Palos Verdes by Bike

PV Foremothers - Short Biographies of Palos Verdes Peninsula Women

PV Foremothers History Project

These mini-biographies offer a sample of the women who have contributed to the Palos Verdes community.  From writers to government officials, community builders to library supporters, and more, the women presented here offer a small glimpse into the incredible work of women who have contributed to the Palos Verdes community. 

These biographies have been compiled by Palos Verdes Estates resident and Local History Center volunteer, Sue Tittle

If you have any questions please contact us.

View the Exhibit