Thousands of historical images depicting 70 years of the Long Beach Fire Department, beginning in 1898, are now accessible online through the California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) Department of Archives and Special Collections’ website at http://digitalcollections.archives.csudh.edu.
The 5,000 photos are part of a collection of more than 9,000 negatives and prints donated to CSUDH four years ago by the Long Beach Firemen’s Historical Museum, the result of a Long Beach Naval Memorial Heritage Association grant to digitally preserve the images. After years of cataloging, the CSUDH archives department recently launched the web page to make digital images available to a worldwide audience.
The collection represents the history of firefighting in Long Beach. Pictures include businesses and homes damaged by fires, oil fire devastation, plane and car crashes as well as images documenting the construction of the city’s fire stations, LBFD fire trucks and other apparatus over the decades, and fire personnel.
The 5,000 digitized photos also offer a glimpse of life in 20th century Long Beach, documenting a changing city skyline, homes, businesses, events, and general way of life. In addition, the collection provides pictorial evidence of the human impact on the Long Beach environment, particularly the oil industry, which was a major influence on the growth and development of the city.
The archives department curated a display of some of the physical images and documents from the Long Beach Fireman’s Historical Museum in 2013, “Jolt!: Responding to Environmental Disasters Large and Small in Southern Los Angeles.” The entire collection is available for research purposes at the archives office on the fifth floor of the University Library South Wing.
For more information on this and other collections in the CSUDH Department of Archives and Special Collections, visit http://archives.csudh.edu or call (310) 243-3895.