The City Archives and Records Center are the two components of the City Clerk's Records Management Division. The Records Management Division administers the City Clerk’s Charter assigned duty as the custodian of City records. The division operates the City Records Center (CRC) for the off site storage of inactive departmental records and the City Archives for the permanent retention of the City’s historical records. The division administers the City’s records management program in conjunction with departmental records coordinators, the City Attorney’s Office, and the City Council. The division provides reference services to City Officials and employees as well as to the general public. The Chief of the Records Management Division is the City’s Records Management Officer.
CITY RECORDS CENTER
The City Records Center, with a capacity of approximately 190,000 standard sized records storage boxes, is responsible for the retention and disposition of the inactive operating records of City Departments, Offices and Bureaus. The City Records Center provides a cost effective storage option to the City while fulfilling the legal retention requirements of the City’s Records Management Program. The City Records Center tracks the location and status of all records accessioned and provides reference services to those records for City employees and officials, as well as to the public within established security guidelines. The Records Management Division coordinates the City’s Records Management Program with each department of the City in conjunction with each department’s Records Coordinator. All City departments have a Records Coordinator. The Records Coordinator prepares inactive records for transfer to the City Records Center, maintains the department’s inventory of records transferred to storage, controls access restrictions to departmental records, serves as the point of contact for requests for access to departmental records, and assists in securing departmental approval for the disposition of obsolete records. The City Records Center refers all requests for access to departmental records from individuals other than departmental employees to the departmental records coordinator, except for specific records for which access protocol has been previously established. In 2013 the City Records Center filled to capacity and ceased accepting incoming records from City departments. At that time City departments maintained an additional 170,000 boxes of inactive records in paid commercial records storage facilities. That volume in commercial storage is expected to grow About Records Management Division Page 2 with the closure of the City Records Center to incoming records. The Records Management Division is working to approve the disposition of obsolete records in order to minimize the expense of commercial storage and to return the City Records Center to normal operations. The City Records Center provides a wide variety of reference services to both City employees and the general public. We welcome your questions and comments regarding our program and invite you to make use of our resources for your research project. All users are encouraged to call ahead when requesting records to ensure that the records will be available upon your arrival and that access to those records is not restricted.
The City Archives, with a capacity of approximately 15,000 standard sized records boxes, provides permanent storage for the City's historically valuable records. The City Archives identifies, collects, preserves, arranges, and describes records of historical significance originated by City government. Our goal is to make these records available to City officials and employees, as well as the general public. The City Archives wants to inform researchers not affiliated with the City government about the nature of our institution, and the resources which are available to the public. We also hope to share our enthusiasm for the preservation of the City's documentary heritage with those who are interested in City history. The existence of a City Archives ensures that future generations of City officials, City employees, private citizens, and scholars will know about the contributions of City government to the growth and development of Los Angeles. While a body of government records collectively known as the "city archives" has existed in the City Clerk's Office since the 1830s, the City Archives as an institution was established in 1980 with the appointment of the City's first Archivist, Hynda L. Rudd. The City Archives has records from as early as 1827 but the majority of our records are from the Twentieth Century. They include records of the Los Angeles City Council, including: Council Minutes; City Council Petitions and Files; past and current versions of the City Charter; Administrative and Municipal Codes; Contracts; Deeds to and from the City; Election Files (Precinct maps from 1908 to present); Departmental Annual Reports; maps; photographs; financial reports and ledgers of the City Auditor, City Controller and Treasurer; and local municipality records from Eagle Rock, Hollywood; San Pedro, Tujunga, Venice, Watts and Wilmington prior to their becoming part of the City of Los Angeles. We have the office files of Mayors Sam Yorty, Norris Poulson, and Richard Riordan. We have the files of many past Council Members from Tom Bradley and Art Snyder to the present. The staff of the City Archives has prepared finding aids and inventories which index the historical records of City Departments, City Council and Mayor. Reference service is the top priority of the City Archives. We welcome questions and comments regarding our program, and invite you to make use of our resources for your research project.
Office of the City Clerk
Record and Management Division
C. Erwin Piper Technical Center
555 Ramirez Street, Space 320
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Records Retention, Destruction and Transfers:
FAX: (213) 473-8450