The Randolph “La Jolla Year by Year” papers, 1869-1951, document the correspondence and other materials used to research Randolph’s
history of La Jolla. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to and from Mr. Randolph during the period 1942
through 1951, as well as notes from newspapers and other sources spanning the period 1869 through 1940. While the majority
of the correspondents were located in the La Jolla and San Diego area, others resided in Midwestern and Eastern states. A
container list is available by clicking "additional collection guides" to your right.
Howard S.F. Randolph was a historian and genealogist from New England and a former editor of the New York Genealogical and
Biographical Magazine. Randolph advocated greater recognition of local history in the community, particularly regarding La
Jolla’s development during the 1880s and ‘90s. Working with the Library Association of La Jolla, Randolph established a Historical
Committee that gathered photographs and documentation resulting in his seminal book “La Jolla: Year by Year.” The book’s publication
triggered increased interest in local history among La Jollans. With the community’s support, Randolph’s collection grew,
becoming the nucleus of the collection of images and documents maintained today by the La Jolla Historical Society.
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 700 postcards, 400-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.