Manhattan’s Forgotten Graveyards

An article from the Huffington Post on Manhattan’s historical graveyards and cemeteries. Manhattan’s Forgotten Graveyards, Under Public Parks, Famous Hotels and Supermarkets | Greg Young. The website New York City Cemetery Project also has interesting historical information about cemeteries in New York.  

Read More »
San Francisco Board of Supervisors' "Official Map of Chinatown in San Francisco" showing today's Grant  Ave. and Beckett St.

Index of Old San Francisco Street Names

You can now find an online index of San Francisco’s historical street names. The index contains a list of street names that have been altered over the years, as well as street names that have simply been lost due to changes in the city’s built environment. The reference tool is available to anyone online (scholars, amateur historians, etc.) and includes…

Read More »

The Fred Rochlin Collection

Fred Rochlin was a long-time architect in southern California who formed an architecture firm in 1952 with colleague Ephraim Baran. The Los Angeles-based Rochlin & Baran architecture firm specializes in (it’s still an operating firm) the design of hospitals, medical facilities, and, oddly enough, observatories. The Rochlin collection contains materials related to the architect’s post-retirement career as a monologist, performer, and…

Read More »

Historical Bibliography of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake & Fire

The following is a historical bibliography of works related to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. The bibliography was originally prepared by the San Francisco Public Library and published in the city’s San Francisco Municipal Reports, 1905-1907, pp. 743-754. The historical bibliography is transcribed here and is intended for research purposes. Citation styles have been left in their original format as…

Read More »

Contemporaneous description of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast

This short article appeared in the Daily Alta California newspaper on May 19, 1852 and provides a contemporaneous description of the city’s infamous Barbary Coast quarter, then called Sydney Town. The article describes a scene on Pacific Street, probably located somewhere between Stockton and Montgomery or Sansome Streets. “BAD CHARACTERS. Pacific street has justly obtained an unenviable notoriety, from the fact…

Read More »
SF Chronicle

From the Reference Desk: The San Francisco Chronicle Encourages You To “Die Now”

Notice found in an issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, dated March 27, 1867: “Worthy of Note. Persons contemplating dying soon are remined that the present times are favorable towards the securing of a respectable crowd of mourners. This is mainly owing to the fact that the Central R.R. Company charge but one fare to the Lone Mountain cemetery. Hence,…

Read More »
Historical image of LA's Red Car on the Fletcher Street Bridge.

Lost L.A.: The Abandoned Corralitas Streetcar Line

In the triangle-shaped neighborhood between the Silver Lake Reservoir, the Glendale Freeway, and the I-5 Freeway is a little piece of Los Angeles history that is lost, but not forgotten. The Corralitas Trail is a little-know urban hike that follows an abandoned Pacific Electric streetcar line that used to run between downtown Los Angeles and the city of Glendale. Before…

Read More »

Using Google Tools to Improve Findability and Access to UCLA’s Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

UCLA’s Young Research Library maintains a great collection of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of the metropolitan Los Angeles area, including Venice, San Pedro, Culver City, and North Hollywood. From about the 1870s until the 1970s, the Sanborn Company was one of a few companies that specialized in producing fire insurance maps for the purpose of assessing fire risk and helping…

Read More »
Example of a neatline

Map neatlines

The neatline on a map is: “A border drawn around a map to enclose the legend, scale, title, geographic features, and any other information pertinent to the map, often showing tick marks that indicate intervals of distance. On a standard quadrangle map, the neatlines are the meridians and parallels delimiting the quadrangle.” Citation The ERSI Press dictionary of GIS terminology…

Read More »