On Saturday, USC Libraries held its 10th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar in Doheny Library.
The event was put on by LA as Subject, a consortium within USC Libraries dedicated to preserving the history of Los Angeles.
Tyson Gaskill, executive director of communications and events for USC Libraries, discussed how the variety of panels appealed not just to people interested in history, but also to those who may be interested in the popular culture of Los Angeles.
“This is really geared to anybody who has any interest in the local history in Southern California or pop culture,” Gaskill said. “There’s just some wacky, crazy things that, if you didn’t know that they existed, this is the place to come find out about these wonderful little idiosyncratic collections that are all over Southern California.”
The roughly 90 exhibitions covered a variety of topics including sports, music and the different regions of Los Angeles and Orange County. Aimee Lind, a reference librarian for the Getty Research Library, found that one of the greatest benefits of participating in the event was how it helped publicize the collections being exhibited.
“We’ve been in it from the beginning on some level, but just in general it’s to make our Los Angeles collections known to a wider audience,” Lind said. “It’s always nice to see what everybody has and get to know what researchers are interested in and how to better promote our collection.”
Gaskill said the event also aimed to unify the broader USC community.
“I would say it’s along dual tracks. Students are probably about 50 percent of it.” Gaskill said. “But it also reaches out to the larger community. We try to also hit the whole entire professional history community here in Southern California.”
Student volunteer Katherine Brunson, a junior studying mechanical engineering, said that the variety of exhibitions was what made the event so interesting.
“[The bazaar] is really interesting — it has a really wide range of history about Los Angeles,” Brunson said. “There’s a fascinatingly large amount of stuff going on and it’s really cool.”
Susan Berumen, the Orange County archivist whose exhibit focused on the history of the county, also spoke about how the event helped create contacts that could further benefit her archives.
“This is our seventh or eighth year with the archives bazaar, and it’s a great place to meet people,” Berumen said. “We’ve gotten a whole bunch of names and queries, and it’s just a wonderful location and event.”
Doheny Library has hosted the event for the last six years. Because the USC Libraries team responsible for putting on the event is so familiar with the space and since Doheny is situated in the heart of campus, Gaskill said Doheny is the perfect venue to put on the bazaar.
“The whole thing is administered by the Libraries, so we have a team here who knows the building very well, and it’s kind of a natural fit,” Gaskill said. ”Doheny Library is the heart of the University, and so to have this event — which is our premier public event for the year — in the library is pretty special.”
Berumen said the event has previously been very inviting.
“It’s always a positive event,“ Berumen said. “You meet different people every year, and there’s a real camaraderie here.”