The La Jolla Historical Society’s Library is made up of over 800 books, periodicals and magazines collected or created by
the La Jolla Historical Society since the 1930s to use for historical research and reference. The Library Collection specializes
in the history of La Jolla, architects, architecture, and prominent historical residents. Topics pertain to the history and
heritage of La Jolla, California; its people, places and events. The Collection also includes over 95 La Jolla Blue Books
(telephone books) dating from 1926 to the present. Prominent research is heavily conducted on La Jolla’s real estate and historic
preservation, which is reflected in a collection of historical real estate cards and reference material. Subject list is available
under "additional collection guides."
The La Jolla Historical Society inspires and empowers the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary
The La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections encompass over 80 years of actively collecting archival material, books, maps,
scrapbooks, ephemera, fine art, newspapers, street and land use files, business and personal documents and historic and prehistoric
artifacts. The Society boasts over 20,000 photographs, over 1000 postcards, 600-plus architectural drawings and approximately
200 oral history recordings.
Collecting was initiated by Howard Randolph and volunteers on the historical committee of the Library Association of La Jolla.
The Collection began by gathering photographs and documentation in the late 1930s, which later became the nucleus of the La
Jolla Historical Society’s Collections. The Society was created in 1964.
Through many moves in location the Society continued collecting and expanding. Accumulated Collections took on its current
construct in 2010 after the renovation of the La Jolla Historical Society’s campus of structures in central La Jolla, which
consists of the 1904 Wisteria Cottage and 1940s Balmer Annex used for exhibits and programming, and a 1909 cottage used for
business and research offices. The late Ellen Browning Scripps’ 1916 automobile garage was also renovated and now houses
the Collection in a state-of-the-art collections storage facility. Materials are housed in archival boxes, sleeves, envelopes
and other archival-safe materials and are cared for according to standards and best practices. In 2016, the Society initiated
new PastPerfect Museum Software to manage and catalog its Collections and in 2018 started using the Online Archive of California
to upload searchable information from its Collections to enable improved public access. The Society will continue these processes
and look forward to utilizing new opportunities to collect, preserve and share the history of La Jolla.