Susan B. Nelson
documents the professional and personal life of Susan Louise Barr
Nelson, an environmental and community planner, and social and political activist.
Nelson played a fundamental role in the establishment of the Santa Monica Mountains
National Recreation Area, which became the largest urban national park in the United
States. The collection also details Nelson’s work with numerous groups and organizations
to preserve open space and parklands for recreational use and includes materials
pertaining to a number of social welfare issues with which she was involved.
Additionally, the collection contains Nelson’s personal writings and materials related
to her family, home life, and education.
Susan Louise Barr was born in Syracuse, New York on April 13, 1927 to Mr. and Mrs.
Winston Barr. The family moved to California in 1930, first settling in a bungalow in
Hollywood before moving to the Carthay District Center, which today is known as Carthay
Circle, Los Angeles. With 1930’s Los Angeles significantly less affected by urban
sprawl, Susan spent her childhood playing in the area’s parks and the Ballona-Playa del
Rey Lagoon’s marsh, which resulted in a life-long love of the outdoors and its natural
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge.
Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of
materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by
fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the
public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright
owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
This collection is open for research use.