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  • Los Angeles Unified School District    

    Art & Artifact Collection/Archive and Museum

  • For more information, please contact:

    Cintia B. Romero

    Curator/Archivist and Collection Manager

    Office: 213-202-8684

    Email: cp-cintia.romero@lausd.net


     The Mission of the Art & Artifact Collection/Archive and Museum

    • Engage and educate the Los Angeles community, including students, families, faculty, staff, alumni as well as independent historians, curators, librarians, and archivists about the history of LAUSD and its role within the greater community.
    • Preserve and protect the unique cultural heritage of LAUSD.
    • Encourage the school community to become involved in the dynamic process of contributing to the Collection/Archive and Museum in ways that reflect current environments and cultures. 


    The LAUSD Art & Artifact Collection/Archive and Museum is a program of the LAUSD Arts Education Branch, Division of Instruction, in association with the Facilities Services Division. It consists of a public Collection, a unique Archive, and a historical Museum

    The LAUSD Art & Artifact Collection is located in over 1,000 school and administrative sites that have accumulated historical items, artwork, and artifacts, some as property of the District and others as gifts and donations.

    • Teachers, staff, alumni, and library associations gave gifts of artwork, rare books, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and silver tea sets used in Home Economics classes.
    • Under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, artists hired for the U.S. General Services Administration, Fine Arts Program (1935-1943) created public art for many LAUSD schools.
    •  Non-profit organizations like the Hollywood Beautification Team received neighborhood grants from the City of Los Angeles to hire an artist to paint murals at schools. 
      • Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles maintains a FREE database of public Los Angeles' Mural History linking artists, murals and neighborhoods. https://www.themcla.org/  

    The LAUSD Art & Artifact Archive is a special repository in downtown Los Angeles that contains administrative and instructional documents, rare books, precious artifacts, and over 30,000 photographs, negatives, and slides of LAUSD school activities and architecture from the 1910s to the 1980s.  For FREE photos and resources about LAUSD School Activities and Buildings or details about any of the artifacts, please contact the Curator/Archivist.

    • Venice High School had an on-campus Latin Museum (1932-1997) of antiquities from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, including vases, tools, and cuneiform tablets dating as far back as 4,000 years.  The Classical League of Downtown Los Angeles and Principal Mr. E.W. Clark (1917-1938) donated much of the collection.
        • Cuneiform Digital Library Bulletin 2016:1 (© Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative ISSN 1540-8760 Version: 24 November 2016) was made with the cuneiform translations.  Written in Sumerian, the earliest written language, cuneiform tablets have triangular indents made by a small stylus, which makes wedges. https://cdli.ucla.edu/file/publications/cdlb2016_001.pdf 
    • Gallery of Paintings of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD Art & Artifact Collection/Archive, 2022) virtual exhibit of some of the paintings in the LAUSD Archive.  Paintings are available for loan to museums with appropriate insurance, security and transportation requirements. https://www.artsteps.com/view/63599c170ce78a29365b8a3e
    • District employees served as staff photographers for the Audio-Visual Section, Public Information Office, and other District branches.  The accompanying, meticulously organized card catalog and the thousands of photographs and negatives are arguably the most impressive feature of the Archive.  For FREE photos about LAUSD School Activities, Aerials and Buildings, please contact the Curator/Archivist.
    • The Carnegie Corporation of New York (founded in 1911) distributed rare books, prints, etchings, and folio collections such as the Carnegie Art History Collection to secondary schools in the early 1930s.  The Californiana Collection consists of old curricula from the California State Series; also, a large donation from the Dawson Collection (formerly at George Washington High School) was mentioned in an issue of The Pacific Bindery Talk journal in September 1934.  Ernest Dawson owned a rare bookstore called Dawson's Book Shop, founded in Los Angeles in 1905. 

    The LAUSD Art & Artifact Museum opened in 2014 and is located on the 2nd Floor of LAUSD Beaudry Administrative Offices Headquarters. Meant to resemble a late 19th-century classroom, objects in the exhibit tell the story of LAUSD’s formation, administration, programs, and display miscellaneous historical items commonly found in a classroom.  

      • Desks, furniture, and objects are from the original Heritage Schoolhouse Museum, previously called the Vernon Avenue Schoolhouse and originally built in 1876. 
      • A few highlights include books The E in U.N.E.S.C.O., 1950 that documents LAUSD’s partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, the Teacher’s Guide to American Ideals and Institutions, published in 1962 by Los Angeles City Schools to teach democratic values to secondary students, and a report card from Sentuous Street School, 1900. 
      • Instructional gems are displayed such as an antique lantern slide projector showing “snatching the rooster” (an early prairie game), an adding machine, the wooden “Neal Word Builder” phonics machine, and a music book called Old Spanish Songs of California from 1923.


    Frequently Asked Questions: 

    May I come in during regular business hours to look at the Archive or Museum

    The Museum is available by appointment only.  Appointments are FREE.  Hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 9 am – 4 pm, excluding federal holidays.  You must obtain pre-authorization for visitor parking to receive validation.

    Please note the Archive space is a warehouse, simultaneously being organized by staff, and is therefore not conducive to “tours” at this time. However, the Archivist is happy to research a subject or school on your behalf and provide FREE resources remotely.

    Our school is celebrating an anniversary; does the Archive have any historic items?

    The LAUSD Art & Artifact Collection/Archive may have photographs, yearbooks or other memorabilia to loan or digitize to support your project.  Digitized historical photographs of LAUSD school activities, architecture, and aerials are available FREE for educational purposes.  Please be patient with these requests, which can take up to 2 weeks to process.

    If you dig up treasures through your own research at school-site archives or with alumni, past faculty and students, the LAUSD Art & Artifact Collection/Archive would love gratis copies of any digital or print publication to add to the Archive and preserve and share your work for future generations.   

     I am interested in making an artwork, artifact, or memorabilia donation.  What is the process? 

    Please email the Curator/Archivist for a Donation Application that will be approved following District guidelines.  All donations are outright and unconditional gifts to be used at LAUSD’s discretion.  It is expected that copyright ownership will accompany all gifts to LAUSD.  Gifts valued over $25,000 require Board of Education Approval. 

    Once approved and acquired, a Donation Acceptance Letter with LAUSD’s tax identification number will be issued to the donor.  The Archivist is NOT permitted to appraise the monetary value of a donation; the donor is advised to speak with their tax accountant, attorney, or hire an appraiser beforehand to ascertain the item’s value.  

    Additional Resources: 

        • Records before 1875, called the Common Council Minutes is kept by the Los Angeles City Records Center and Archives at the Piper Technical Center at 555 Ramirez Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
      • Los Angeles Unified School District’s Student Records Center (SRC) is responsible for the permanent archiving of student cumulative records of former LAUSD students. https://lausd.scriborder.com/ 
      • L.A. as Subject is an online directory of more than 230 separate archives/collections dedicated to improving access to Los Angeles history.  https://www.laassubject.org/
      • Eagle Rock’s Schools (Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society, 2022) has historical photos of Eagle Rock First Schools, Central, Rockdale, San Raphael, Dahlia Heights, Delevan, Toland Way, Eagle Rock High School and Occidental College. https://www.eaglerockhistory.org/gallery/schools/
      • A Brief History of Adult Education in California (The River Consortium, 2022) California has provided adult education since the middle of the 19th century. However, it took until the beginning of the 20th century to find a place under the umbrella of free public education. http://www.theriverconsortium.org/adult-education-in-california/
      • Umbra Search African American History makes African American history more broadly accessible through a freely available search tool, bringing together digitized materials from over 1,000 libraries and archives across the country. https://umbrasearch.org/
      • VC Archives (Visual Communications, 2021) documents various Asian American social movements and communities in California. https://vcmedia.org/archives
      • A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States (Library of Congress, Research Guides, Hispanic, 2022) This research guide focuses American court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on civil rights in Chicana/o/x, Hispanic, Latina/o/x, Mexican-American and Puerto Rican communities.  https://guides.loc.gov/latinx-civil-rights/timeline
      • American Latino Theme Study (Victoria-María MacDonald, 2020) essay explores the struggles for equal educational opportunities for American Latino children in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include desegregation, struggles in higher education, and parents' advocacy for educational equality.  https://www.nps.gov/articles/latinothemeeducation.htm
      • A History of Armenian Immigration in Southern California (UCLA, Daniel Fittante; 2017) This article presents a brief history of Armenian immigration to Southern California and attempts to explain why Glendale has become the world’s most demographically concentrated Armenian diasporic hub.  https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6v04w06x
      • Project Save Photograph Archive is focused on preserving and sharing the photography of the Armenian global experience. With over 80,000 hardcopy photographs, they bring to light the culture and history of Armenians worldwide.  https://projectsave.catalogaccess.com/


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    A Special Note to Parents: We have provided the following websites for your child's fun and enjoyment and to assist them in conducting research on the web. Because of the nature of the Internet, it is still possible to access a series of links that may take one to almost anywhere. In other words, in spite of our efforts to supply appropriate materials and links on this page, parents should supervise children while they surf the Web.