The collection comprises of publications and ephemeral materials collected by the Historical Society of Southern California
(HSSC) prior to the 1910s. The organization was formed in 1883 to collect and preserve manuscripts, periodicals, newspapers,
and both written and oral historical accounts regarding the history of the Pacific Coast in general and of Southern California
The idea to form a historical society was conceived November 1, 1883. HSSC was incorporated February 13, 1891. HSSC’s first
president Col. J. J. Warner delivered the inaugural address on January 7, 1884, and he spoke on the origin, aims and objects
of the newly formed organization. The inaugural address was published in volume 1, 1884-91, of the Publications of the Historical
Society of Southern California.
There was a collective concern that at the conclusion of an 1881 centennial celebration of the founding of Los Angeles the
city lacked a historical society. The founders lamented the “flood of immigrants” and the impending disappearance of old
Primary HSSC objectives were the collection and preservation of historical matters, and additionally, a focus on science and
scientific methods. Another important objective was to publish materials that had permanent value. For additional reference,
consult “Thirty Three Years of History Activities” by J.M. Guinn, published in Volume 10, 1915-17 of the Publications of the
Historical Society of Southern California.