Broadway at Olympic Boulevard, 1940
As you may already know, The Metro Library collects news headlines related to transit and transportation from newspapers, magazines, journals, blogs, advocacy organizations and other sources to help inform thousands of people every day. We publish the Transportation Headlines blog and also provide its content via email subscription.
Now, we are offering a new resource for information related to transit and transportation in Southern California – our Primary Resources blog to compliment the daily aggregated news items. We have a lot of important resources from our collection and beyond to share with our transit and transportation community.
Several considerations make this the right time to launch a new channel for additional resources that our users will find both interesting and valuable:
Metro is embarking on an ambitious plan for many new Measure R-funded transit and highway projects, several of which are being planned and executed at the same time
Transit and transportation advocacy is growing thanks to social networking and other communication tools. Resources can be disseminated, consumed, and redistributed more easily than ever before
We are actively collecting and digitizing not only Metro’s publications and reports, but also harvesting and preserving important documents and other digital assets in the field of transportation that compliment our collections
Our collections include key resources from several of our predecessor agencies including Los Angeles Railway, Pacific Electric Railway, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, Southern California Rapid Transit District and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission.
As we continue to digitize these items, we will offer access to rarely-seen documents as well as maps, early transit plans, historic employee newsmagazines, renderings, and other assets from these collections.
But not everything valuable is old: We hold numerous Environmental Impact Reports and Statements, transit studies, engineering plans, and documents related to projects’ archaeological and cultural resources. Interesting and timely information from these items will also be included in future blog posts.
Approximately 40% of our book and report collection is unique and found nowhere else. We currently have over 14,000 photos in our Flickr collection online, and our own YouTube channel with extensive playlists.
While we collect and digitize Metro’s publications and reports, we are also actively harvesting and preserving important documents and other digital assets in the transportation field to compliment our collection. We will share these resources and provide some context for why they are important to our mobility agenda.
Transportation is a complex, interdisciplinary subject area. Many librarians and archivists are working to provide more access to information which will assist in making better decisions and help keep the public informed. We will spotlight these activities within the transportation research community.
Finally, we recognize the special role that transit and transportation have played in Southern California history. We will occasionally explore the unique challenges to and opportunities for our library and archive partners in L.A. As Subject, which highlights those lesser-known institutions celebrating the history and culture of the Los Angeles Region.
Los Angeles County is incredibly vast and complex: nearly 10 million residents spread across 88 cities and 30 years worth of pending transit and transportation projects impacting every corner of the region that almost 1/4 of Californians call “home.” The need for timely and accurate information is greater than ever before.
We will look back at interesting (and often humorous) historical resources, and we look forward to bringing new information and knowledge to light for our community.
— updated May 15, 2023