Monday, October 10, 2016

CHS Digitizes Anton Wagner’s Undiscovered Historic Photograph Collection

West Los Angeles Farmland, February 2, 1933
[Farm on Robertson Boulevard North of Hall Road Studio Farm]
Los Angeles: 1932–33 by Anton Wagner, PC 17,
California Historical Society
When my father donated the pictures it was with the wish that they could be accessible to as many people as possible, and now they can.
—Geoff Wagner, 2016

Today the California Historical Society celebrates Digital Archives Day—established by the California State Archives—with the launch of our digital pilot platform featuring the photographic collection “Los Angeles: 1932–33 by Anton Wagner, PC 17.” A cultural geography student from Germany writing his dissertation about metropolitan Los Angeles, Wagner’s 400-plus research photographs document the city’s transformation during the early 1930s. Illustrating the period between the booms of the 1920s and post–World War II, Wagner’s images of Depression-era Los Angeles were selected for CHS’s inaugural digitization project for their innovation and historical value.


Old Chinatown, January 22, 1933
[Chinatown; Marchesault Street, East of Alameda]
Los Angeles: 1932–33 by Anton Wagner, PC 17,
California Historical Society
Unique to the CHS Collection and one of our most important and valuable twentieth-century collections, Wagner’s images have already generated enthusiasm among researchers, historians, and lovers of Los Angeles history:


·         Over the next two years, the California Historical Society, with partner organizations, will explore the relevance of Wagner’s work to the study of American metropolises today and his legacy as a pioneer urban chronicler.
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Read more about Anton Wagner on the CHS blog:



Shelly Kale
Publications and Strategic Projects Manager

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