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Palos Verdes Library District Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Accruals
  • Related Materials
  • Bibliography

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Palos Verdes Library District, Peninsula Center Library. Local History Center.
    Title: Palos Verdes Library District Collection
    Creator: McMillan, Agnes
    Creator: Cheney, Charles H., 1884-1943
    Creator: Palos Verdes Library District (1928-)
    Identifier/Call Number: 018
    Physical Description: 2.6 Cubic Feet 6 legal document boxes, 1 oversize legal document box, 1 letter document box, 1 flat box, 1 video bulk storage box, 4 roll storage boxes, 5 oversize folders
    Date (bulk): 1926-2005, bulk 1929-1949
    Physical Location: Local History Center
    Abstract: Collection of correspondence, reports, legal contracts, photographs, pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, reading lists, and programming files of the Palos Verdes Library District from its founding in 1926 through the 1990s.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the Local History Center for access information.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation

    [Name of item], Palos Verdes Library District Collection (Collection 018). Local History Center, Peninsula Center Library, Palos Verdes Library District, Rolling Hills Estates, CA.

    Biographical / Historical

    The Palos Verdes Library District (PVLD) is an independent library district serving the four cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula: Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes. The district has one main library, Peninsula Center, and two branch libraries, Malaga Cove and Miraleste.
    PVLD had its beginnings as the Palos Verdes Branch of the Los Angeles County Free Library Service. The library opened to the public in June 1926 and was housed in an upstairs room of the Gardner Building, the first commercial building of the Palos Verdes Project. The by-laws of the Palos Verdes Homes Association, the community association of the Palos Verdes Project, authorized the creation of a library board with three members. Romayne Martin, one of the three original board members, spearheaded the effort to separate from the County and establish an independent library district. A petition to order an election to form the independent library district was circulated to the residents of Palos Verdes in 1927. An election was held in January 1928 and by overwhelming vote residents authorized the formation of the PVLD. PVLD is governed by a Library Board of Trustees composed of publicly elected board members.
    The construction of the District's first free-standing library building was funded in 1928 with the passage of a $90,000 bond vote. The Board of Trustees hired local resident and well-known architect Myron Hunt to draw up plans for a library building. The building cost $60,000 with the remaining balance used to acquire and landscape the site and furnish the building. The furnishings were specially made by the Palos Verdes Furniture Guild at Portuguese Bend and are replicas of renaissance tables and chairs brought from Italy by Frank Vanderlip. The Olmsted Brothers, hired by the Palos Verdes Project to layout the whole Peninsula, landscaped the library grounds and adjoining park.
    Agnes I. MacMillan was appointed as the District's first librarian in May 1930. On June 3, 1930 the Palos Verdes Public Library and Art Gallery opened to the public. An official dedication ceremony took place on June 27, 1930 with a delegation from the American Library Association present.
    From 1930-1967 the library building in Malaga Cove served as the main library for the Peninsula. With the population growth in the 1950s the single facility was insufficient to meet the needs of the growing Palos Verdes community. In May 1961, the Peninsula Friends of the Library and the District worked together to expand the District's facilities. Through a series of local bond measures, the community funded the Peninsula Center Library (1967) in Rolling Hills Estates and the Miraleste Library (1970) in Rancho Palos Verdes, thus reaching the population centers on the Peninsula. Malaga Cove became a branch facility of the District and the library board was increased from 3 to 5 members.
    In 1991, a $16,000,000 bond was approved via election for renovation and expansion of the Peninsula Center Library. Construction on the facility started in 1992. When the new building re-opened in September 1995, its square footage had more than doubled.
    In 1995, the Malaga Cove Library was put on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources.


    The collection is arranged into ten series. Series arranged chronologically have undated materials filed after dated materials. Series 8 arranged into three subseries.
    Series 1: Correspondence – arranged chronologically. 1926-1997; Bulk 1926-1931
    Series 2: Administration Files – arranged alphabetically by folder title; thereunder chronologically.
    Series 3: Board of Trustees – arranged alphabetically by folder title; thereunder chronologically.
    Series 4: Associations, Committees, Foundations – arranged alphabetically by folder title; thereunder chronologically.
    Series 5: Bonds and Elections – arranged chronologically.
    Series 6: Materials Related to District Facilities – arranged chronologically.
    Series 7: Clippings and Press Releases – arranged alphabetically by folder title; thereunder chronologically.
    Series 8: Branch Programming – each subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title; thereunder chronologically. a. Malaga Cove b. Miraleste c. Peninsula Center
    Series 9: Photographs – arranged chronologically.
    Series 10: Realia

    Scope and Contents

    Includes correspondence, reports, legal contracts, agreements, design plans, blueprints, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, programming materials, proposals, realia and photographs related to Palos Verdes Library District. Bulk of collection materials is related to the construction, opening, and early operations of the Malaga Cove Library beginning in 1926.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Assembled from materials collected by the library.

    Processing Information

    Initial rehousing and stabilization of materials by Dennis Piotrowski in 2012. Additional rehousing by Stella Castillo in 2016. Final arrangement and description by Stella Castillo, November 15, 2016.


    Further accruals can be expected.

    Related Materials

    Oral History of Romayne Martin
    The Palos Verdes Bulletin http://www.palosverdeshistory.org/islandora/object/pvld:4048
    Local History Center Subject and Biographical File Collection (Headings: Library; Library Board; Library District)
    Collection of Materials Related to Concerts in the Park – Collection #007
    Palos Verdes Community Arts Association – Unprocessed Collection
    Friends of the Library Collection – Unprocessed Collection
    Palos Verdes Homes Association Photo Collection - Box 25
    Records of the Olmsted Associates Microfilm


    Dolim, David T. "The Palos Verdes Library: 1925-1930." Los Angeles, CA 2004.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Library buildings--California--Palos Verdes Peninsula
    Malaga Cove Plaza Library (Calif.)
    Miraleste Library (Calif.)
    Palos Verdes Library District (Calif.)
    Public libraries--California--Palos Verdes Peninsula
    Public libraries