The Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive contains an estimated 4 million images dating from approximately 1918 to 1990. The collection consists of photonegatives as well as photographic prints, and includes glass negatives (circa 1918-1932), nitrate negatives (circa 1925-45), and safety negatives (circa 1935-1990). Also included are a small number of prints and negatives from the Los Angeles Times Orange County and San Diego bureaus.
The scope of the collection is near-comprehensive as a document of events, personalities, movements, and institutions in the news. Unique among its content is the amount of photographic evidence concerning the Los Angeles region during this time. The range of documentary material reflecting L.A. politics, the built environment, arts and culture, race relations, industry, growth and development is perhaps unrivaled. The photographic records resulting from the Times’ diligent and constant coverage of the Hollywood entertainment industry are a particularly important cache.