in addition to maintaining our archival holdings, we also keep a copy of each film that plays at the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival in our Media Resource Library, which is open to the public. Researchers, students, and filmmakers often contact us when they want to watch a film that they can’t locate anywhere else. If you’re doing research, or just want to watch a film for fun, set up an appointment and come on in. Unfortunately, we can’t let any films to leave the premises, but we’re more than happy to have you here!
The National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation and Access Division recently contacted VC so they could feature us for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! In 2011, VC received a grant from the NEH that allowed us to build compact shelving in our offices, which has greatly enhanced our look, organization, and use of the archives.
Thanks for the exposure, NEH, and please be sure to check out the feature!
By Alice Li and Helen Kim
In March of 1991, a group of police officers chased down a car on the freeway. The driver, Rodney King, was an African American man who, according to one of the officers, seemed as if he were high on PCP. Claiming that he was resisting arrest, the officers began to beat King violently. Unbeknownst to them, the episode was recorded; after the footage was released, it was widely disseminated and received extensive media coverage. The officers were charged with assault and use of excessive force.
The case went to court, and on April 29, 1992, all four officers were acquitted. Public outcry resulted; violence erupted in South Los Angeles. It quickly spread throughout South L.A., Koreatown, Hollywood, Mid-City, Pico-Union, and the Civic Center. For almost a week, the riots raged. People were beaten, some killed. Businesses were looted, buildings destroyed, blazes set. The damage to businesses was devastating many of which were owned by Korean immigrants. Police did little to stop the riots; the LAPD was unprepared to control the masses of people in the streets.
Two archival collections, housed at USC, were recently unsealed. These two collections document the investigations of two independent commissions which explored the Los Angeles Police Department in the wake of the LA Riots. Here are the links to the two finding aids for the collections:
- Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department Records
- Los Angeles Webster Commission Records
To accompany the records, the USC Libraries is hosting an event to commemorate and discuss the LA Riots. For more information, check out their website.
LA Weekly, “Then & Now: Images From the Same Spot as the L.A. Riots, 20 Years Later.” Link: http://www.laweekly.com/microsites/la-riots/
* “Sai-I-Gu” and “Wet Sand,” both by Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, are excellent documentaries on the 1992 Riots and their aftermath.
We apologize for our absence in the archives. The VC staff is busy in preparations for our annual film festival!
The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival is in its 29th year showcasing films to promote Asian and Asian American filmmakers and films. If you’re in the Southern California area, please come by– friends, film, fun, and food all in one place. Check the festival website for lists of films, synopses, and screening times. See you there!
Every summer, VC is lucky to receive Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Interns. VC interns spend the whole summer with us, absorbing the diversity of snacks and other goodies in the Little Tokyo area in Downtown LA while learning about the interwoven histories of Little Tokyo, Asian America, and Visual Communications. This year, we have two Getty internships available– an Exhibitions Program Associate Intern and an ARCHIVES ASSOCIATE INTERNSHIP!
If you’re an undergraduate student who is enjoys archives, or thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in information science, this is a great internship for you. At VC, you’ll learn how to arrange, process, catalog and digitize collections; you’ll learn about basic preservation needs and standards. You’ll also learn how to make materials accessible to the public and aid discoverability through online portals like Historypin, this blog, and Facebook. The archives’ goal is to promote Asian American Pacific Islanders in the historical record.
Last year’s Getty archives intern, Kim Zarate, is now working as a Collections Assistant at the UC Riverside/California Museum of Photography; read her testimonial here:
What I enjoyed about my internship at VC was the opportunity to learn more about Asian Pacific Islander history through the VC archives and interacting with other organizations and the local community. My main project was processing the Japanese American Citizens League Redress Collection, which contains video of oral histories and testimonies of those involved with the redress campaign for Japanese Americans interned during World War II. Interning at VC provided me with not only knowledge of audiovisual archival practices, but the understanding of what it means to provide access to the stories found within archives and collections.
Although I’ve praised the Archives Internship, please read about the Exhibitions Program Internship as well. Check out this link here for more information about both positions, and email your CVs and cover letters to firstname.lastname@example.org!
We have some great photos of the first– ever– Lotus Festival in our archives. You can check out these retro shots (check out that Pepsi can) on our Historypin channel. Here’s two shots to tempt you– enjoy!
Another one of our finding aids is up on the Online Archive of California! This finding aid describes our collection of testimonies from the Commission on the Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) Hearings held in 1981 in Los Angeles. In these hearings, former internees, community leaders, and others gave testimony about the impact that internment had on Japanese American individuals, families, and community as a whole. More detailed description, including interviewees and subjects covered, is on the finding aid.
Visual Communications, along with NCRR (Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress) produced a 12-volume set of the testimonies entitled “Stand Up for Justice.” Researchers can, however, view the footage in-house for no charge.