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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Project Information
  • History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Compton History Collection
    Dates: 1869-1998
    Collection Number: Consult repository.
    Collector: California State University, Dominguez Hills
    Extent: 3.5 linear feet (7 boxes)
    Repository: California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections
    Archives & Special Collection
    University Library, Room G-145
    1000 E. Victoria Street
    Carson, California 90747
    Phone: (310) 243-3013
    Abstract: The collection includes newsclippings, histories, flyers, newsletters, minutes, correspondence, programs, yearbooks, municipal papers, and histories related to or about the city of Compton. Subjects include commerce, education, private residences, historic preservation, city anniversaries, and natural disasters.
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Administration Information


    There are no access restrictions on this collection.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Title of item], Compton History Collection, Courtesy of the Department of Archives and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills

    Acquisition Information

    Materials in this collection were collected by archives staff and members of the community. Some of the items were from the Heritage House Museum in Compton and Robert C. Gillingham, a local historian.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of Early Los Angeles/Rancho San Pedro Manuscript Cataloging Project, a CSU Dominguez Hills Library project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2005. Project Director was Greg Williams. Project Archivists were Thomas Philo and Jennifer Allan Goldman.


    This collection was created by combining two Compton collections: the Compton History Collection and the Heritage House Collection. Much of the materials in the Compton History Collection were donated by Robert Gillingham. The Heritage House Museum donated their papers and historical materials to the archive when they closed in the late 1970s.
    The City of Compton lies within the original boundaries of the Rancho San Pedro, granted to the Dominguez family. In 1866, Francis Temple and Fielding Gibson purchased a tract of land north of the Dominguez homestead. This land, known as the Temple and Gibson Tract, was subdivided and lots were purchased by Harmon Higgins in 1866 and a group of pioneers led by G.D. Compton in 1867. The city was first incorporated in 1888 and again in 1909, with Clarence Dickison as mayor. In 1969, Compton elected its first African-American mayor, Douglas Dollarhide.

    Scope and Content

    Materials in this collection include newsletters, minutes, histories, correspondence, programs, yearbooks, directories, newspapers, and newsclippings. These have been organized to parallel the series and subseries arrangement of the South Bay Photo Collection.


    Arranged in 14 series:
    • Series I. Buildings and Parks, 1940s-1961
    • Series II. Businesses, 1903-1978
    • Series III. Churches, 1886-1998
    • Series IV. City of Compton, 1869-1988
    • Series V. Clubs and Organizations, 1939-1974
    • Series VI. Earthquake, 1933
    • Series VII. Events, 1935-1988
    • Series VIII. History and Newsclippings, 1856-1994
    • Series IX. Landmarks, 1935-1987
    • Series X. Maps, 1930
    • Series XI. Pioneer Families, 1888-1968
    • Series XII. Civic Leaders, 1955-1962
    • Series XIII. Schools, 1891-1968

    Indexing Terms


    Earthquakes--California--Long Beach
    Earthquake damages
    Methodist Church--California--Los Angeles
    Public buildings
    Public schools--California--Compton
    Public schools--California--Employees

    Geographic Areas

    Compton (Calif.)

    Related Material

    The following collections are available in the CSUDH Archives and Special Collections:
    • Heritage House Collection
    • Robert C. Gillingham Working Papers
    • South Bay Photo Collection
    • South Bay History Collection