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Glendale Area Weather and Natural Disasters Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Glendale Area Weather and Natural Disasters Collection
    Dates: 1914-2011
    Collection Number: GND
    Creator/Collector: This collection has been assembled by Glendale Central Library staff.
    Extent: 4.17 linear feet
    Repository: Glendale Library, Arts and Culture. Glendale Central Library History Room
    Glendale, California 91205
    Abstract: This collection consists of materials assembled by library staff documenting natural disasters and weather-related events impacting Glendale and surrounding areas in Los Angeles County. These events include earthquakes, floods, landslides, rainstorms, windstorms, drought, snowfall, and wildfires. The collection documents damage as well as recovery efforts and projects to mitigate future disasters. Some items appear to be materials created or used by Glendale News-Press or Glendale Ledger newspaper staff during their reporting or involvement in community activities.
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is open for research use.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to Glendale Central Library. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law 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.

    Preferred Citation

    Glendale Area Weather and Natural Disasters Collection. Glendale Library, Arts and Culture. Glendale Central Library History Room

    Acquisition Information


    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Glendale Area Weather and Natural Disasters Collection is comprised of materials assembled by library staff over several decades documenting unusual and sometimes catastrophic weather conditions and natural events. The collection consists primarily of photographic material and newspaper clippings, but also includes several manuscripts, a few pieces of correspondence, one map, and several teletypes. The collection is arranged in four series: Earthquakes (1933-1994), Floods, Flood Control and Landslides (1914-2009), Weather Conditions (1917-2011), and Wildfires (1919-2009). Series I, Earthquakes, documents damage to buildings, houses, highways, and other infrastructure during some of the major earthquakes to strike the Glendale and Los Angeles area. This includes the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the 1971 San Fernando (or Sylmar) Earthquake, and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. All documentation is in the form of photographic material and newspaper clippings except for a small series of postcards from the Long Beach event. Although primarily a record of earthquake damage, a few photographs show reconstruction efforts. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Series II, Floods. Flood Control, and Landslides, documents flood, debris, and rockslide damage to houses, residential and commercial streets, canyons, dams, and bridges in Glendale and the surrounding communities of the La Crescenta Valley and Los Angeles. Photographs and newspaper clippings not only illustrate damage, but also recovery efforts as the community salvaged vehicles, removed debris from houses and streets, and worked on flood control projects. The series includes several original manuscripts, and some are accompanied by a copy of the published newspaper piece. A few personal papers of Glendale News-Press reporter, Mary Darrow are present, and the manuscripts may also have originated with her. The series also includes a few papers and correspondence of community organizations involved with flood control planning, and since Darrow was known to be active in the community, these may have originally been in her possession as well. One noteworthy document is a three-page telegram to Franklin Roosevelt from Congressmen W. E. Evans written nine months after the 1934 New Year's Eve tragedy urgently requesting the release of a flood control and reconstruction appropriation before the next rainy season. Also of interest are souvenir booklets of the New Year's Eve flood published in recognition of its anniversary. The series also contains original teletypes reporting on the 1978 flood to the international news agency, United Press International (UPI). A 1965 tract map of the Pickens Canyon Channel is also included. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Series III, Weather Conditions, contains items documenting the impact of unusual or extreme weather conditions. A set of photographs shows an unexpected snowfall in Glendale, and newspaper clippings report on the impact of draught conditions, record-breaking rainfall, and damage from windstorms. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Series IV, Wildfires, documents, some of the major wildfires affecting the Glendale area and surrounding foothill communities. Fires documented by most photographic material and newspaper clippings include those originating from the Angeles National Forest in 1975, 1977, and 2009, and fires with more of an immediate impact on Glendale during 1964, 1977, and 1999. Some photographs show firefighters in action and equipment staging areas. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject. Due to deteriorated condition and concerns for the preservation of associated materials, many newspaper clippings have been photocopied and the originals discarded.

    Indexing Terms

    Drought -- California, Southern
    Dwellings -- Flood damage
    Floods -- California – Los Angeles
    Northridge Earthquake, Calif., 1994
    San Fernando Earthquake, Calif., 1971
    Storms -- California, Southern
    Weather -- California -- Glendale
    Wildfires -- California -- Los Angeles
    Darrow, Mary
    Glendale (Calif.)
    Los Angeles County (Calif.)
    Northridge (Calif.)
    Long Beach (Calif.)
    La Cañada (Calif.)
    La Crescenta (Calif.)
    San Fernando (Calif.)
    San Gabriel Mountains (Calif.)
    Paper records
    Photographic material

    Additional collection guides