Skip to main content

South Bay Photograph Collection

Identifier: SPC-1900-024

Scope and Contents

The collection covers all areas of the South Bay, as well as communities in the Los Angeles area, including Glendale, Burbank, Santa Monica, and downtown Los Angeles. A majority of the photos 5x7 or 8x10 in black and white. Many of the photographs of people are professional portraits, including two tin-types. Most of the negatives have been created from the photographs and are not original film. All of the aerial photos were shot professionally, the second set being created by Pacific Air Industries.


  • circa 1880-1967


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.


The South Bay Photos Collection was created from the photographs originally collected in the Compton History Collection, the Heritage House Collection, and the South Bay History Collection. Many of the photos are assumed to be from the collections of Robert Gillingham and other local historians of Compton and the South Bay. These photographs were then arranged to parallel the South Bay History and Compton History Collections.

The South Bay is defined in this collection as the area south of the Los Angeles International Airport and the Glenn Anderson Freeway (CA 105) and west of the San Gabriel River Freeway (CA 605). Generally, the cities in this collection are within the borders of the Rancho San Pedro land grant, made in 1784.


520 Photographic Prints (7 linear feet; 10 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of color and black and white photographs, negatives, postcard-backed photos, and tin-types. Subjects of the photographs include people, businesses, churches, houses, schools, farming, transportation, and natural disasters. Communities covered in this collection include Compton, Torrance, Carson, Dominguez, Redondo Beach, Lynwood, Lakewood, San Pedro, Wilmington, Los Angeles, Terminal Island, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Material from the collection is available online by visiting the South Bay Photograph Digital Collection.


The collection has been organized into 12 series:

  1. Series I. Carson, circa 1944
  2. Series II. Compton, circa 1880-1967
  3. Series III. Dominguez, undated
  4. Series IV. Lakewood, 1945
  5. Series V. Lynwood, 1913, 1921, 1926, 1928
  6. Series VI. Palos Verdes, circa 1920s, undated
  7. Series VII. Redondo Beach, circa 1880-1925
  8. Series VIII. Regional, 1932-1959
  9. Series IX. San Pedro, 1883-1932
  10. Series X. Terminal Island, 1933
  11. Series XI. Torrance, 1902, 1910, 1924
  12. Series XII. Wilmington, circa 1880s, undated

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Photos were acquired over many years through donations and collecting by Archives staff.

Related Materials

For material related to the South Bay please consult: South Bay History Collection, Compton Earthquake Postcards Collection, Compton History Collection, Rancho San Pedro Collection, South Bay Photograph Collection, South Bay Photograph Digital Collection, James H. Osborne Photograph Collection , Ira Clark Collection, Charles Blanton Collection, Heritage House Collection, Robert C. Gillingham Papers, Rozelle Family Collection, Dennis Kroll Collection, Jim Brown Collection, Compton Newspaper Collection, Long Beach Fireman’s Historical Museum Photographs, Long Beach Fireman’s Historical Museum Photographs Digital Collection, Charles H. Eilers Collection, Gardena Valley Chamber of Commerce Collection, Gardena Valley News Collection, Donald Greaton Gardena Collection, James Osborne History of Lawndale Collection, Hotel Redondo Photograph Collection, Leuzinger High School Collection, and others.

South Bay Photo Collection
Finding aid prepared by Jennifer Allan Goldman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747