Tag Archives: malibu history

Pepperdine Digital Collections launches the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection

The Malibu Historical Photograph Collection is now available online through Pepperdine Digital Collections. Designed for historians, students, Malibuites, or anyone interested in the visual history of our seaside community, the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection includes images of Malibu people, places, and things dating back to 1890. Each photograph has been scanned and uploaded at a high resolution to allow detailed in-browser zooming with options to download. Furthermore, users can identify a photo’s original vantage point on Google Maps through historypin.com; you can even compare historical photos with today’s Google Street View, when available (hint: move the “Fade” switch back and forth).

Pepperdine University Libraries is very grateful to Lani Netter, whose donation of historical prints served as the seed for the Malibu Historical Photograph Collection. And keep your eyes on this collection—it will grow fast as we digitize our vast archive of historical photographs donated to Pepperdine University by The Malibu Times. Enjoy.

When the President came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

President Gerald Ford (right) greets actor John Wayne, with benefactor Richard Seaver (center)

On Founder’s Day, September 20, 1975, as Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus began its fourth year of activity, the university was honored by an official visit from the President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. This was the first time a sitting President had visited Pepperdine, a milestone indicative of both the prestige the university had gained nationally and the ties its administration held with the Republican Party. The day was marked by two building dedications on the rapidly growing campus, both of which featured remarks by President Ford. A VIP brunch ceremony dedicated the Brock House, home to the university president, and this was followed by a public gathering of over 18,000 attendees to witness the dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse, the campus’ athletics facility. Newly discovered and digitized, the audio recording of President Ford’s dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse is now available online in our Historic Sound Recordings collection.

The 18,000 strong crowd at the Firestone Fieldhouse dedication, 1975

In addition to a twenty-minute speech by President Ford (on the important role of independent universities and free enterprise in the national education system), the recording also features the pomp and ritual particular to that era, including Pat Boone singing the national anthem and John Wayne leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although it may not be apparent in this recording, President Ford’s visit to Pepperdine occurred during a period of heightened anxiety for both the president and the university. Just two weeks earlier, Squeaky Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, had attempted to assassinate President Ford in Sacramento (the gun failed to discharge). Security at Pepperdine was intense and there were no incidents; however, just two days later, Sara Jane Moore fired on the president in San Francisco in a second failed attempt. Meanwhile, four days before President Ford was to arrive at Pepperdine, M. Norvel Young, Chancellor of Pepperdine University, crashed his car into another vehicle on the Pacific Coast Highway, causing the death of two motorists. The shadow of this tragedy nearly derailed the Presidential visit, but the event continued as planned.

In addition to listening to the recording, you can also view photographs of the day’s events. Enjoy.

Introducing Historypin: Putting Pepperdine history on the map



Search for historic photos near you with the Historypin mobile app


Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of its new channel with Historypin.com, a website and mobile application that allows the pinning of historical photographs, audio recordings, and moving image files to Google Maps. Would you like to see the Malibu hills in 1969 before the arrival of Pepperdine University, overlaid seamlessly with the current Google street view? Or perhaps you’d like to take a drive across the newly opened San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in 1940? You can do all of these things—and more—in our new, interactive Historypin.com channel.

Historypin.com, developed by the nonprofit We Are What We Do in partnership with Google Maps, facilitates social mapping, in which individuals or institutions create a visual history of a particular spot on Earth through pinning digitized photographs (or other media) along with the stories that contextualize and enrich the history behind the images. Historypin calls this “fourth dimensional mapping,” a phenomenon that enables new ways for users to interact with historical photographs. For example, when you visit the Historypin website or mobile application, you can view the image, compare it with the current Google street view (when available), add your own stories to the image feed, use your smart phone to take a “Historypin Repeat” of the same scene, or link to the original image in our digital collections. In addition to searching or browsing images via the map, you can interact with materials in thematic collections or go on virtual walking tours.

Pepperdine University Libraries is utilizing Historypin to further the twin goals of its Special Collections and University Archives department: to preserve and disseminate the history of Pepperdine University and serve as the primary historical repository for the Malibu community. In addition to creating our own Historypin collections and tours, we are leveraging the unique strengths of Historypin to foster collaborations with other university departments and make new inroads into the Malibu community.



1971—Construction commences in Malibu: Today’s featured digital object

Continuing our series on the historical events that shaped Pepperdine University in Malibu—in honor of the Malibu campus’ 40th anniversary—we arrive at April 13, 1971. On this overcast, unusually chilly day, approximately 500 Pepperdine supporters gathered on the freshly leveled dirt building pads of the new Malibu campus to observe ceremonies initiating construction of the campus buildings. Billed as the “Ceremony to Commence Construction of Academic Complex on Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus,” the event saw the dedication of three core buildings: Payson Library, the Pendleton Learning Center, and the Huntsinger Academic Center.

The namesakes of these buildings were on hand to make remarks, and President William S. Banowsky spoke about Pepperdine’s educational philosophy, but the real attraction of the day was the keynote address by Wernher von Braun, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA. Von Braun, a German rocket engineer brought into the fold of the US government following World War II, was one of the leading scientists behind the Apollo moon mission. His prominence following the first moon landing in 1969 contributed to the phrase “it’s not rocket science” to describe a simple task.

His appearance at the Commencement of Construction ceremony—less than two years after the moon landing—provided Pepperdine University with the perfect symbol of education, innovation, and achievement. It was an auspicious start to the buildings that now form the heart of Pepperdine University’s Seaver College in Malibu.

In our Pepperdine Digital Collections, you can listen to a recording of the speeches made that day, including the address by von Braun (he appears on Part 2 of the recording). You can also view a few of the archival photographs of the event. Enjoy.

The 2012 Los Angeles Archives Bazaar Is A Success!

On October 27, 2012, Special Collections and University Archives participated in the 7th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar held at Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus. Over eighty archives were represented and hundreds of scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the stories of Los Angeles attended the one-day event. Special Collections and University Archives shared materials from the Malibu Historical Collection, University Archives, and the Digital Collections with the public over the course of the day. Over one hundred people stopped by our table!

(Lindsey Gant and Katie Richardson exhibit some of the materials from Special Collections and University Archives)

The Rindge and Adamson family papers, which are part of the Malibu Historical Collection, were also featured in the special session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives” where thirteen L.A. as Subject members shared one notable collection from their archives as a way of introducing their materials. Approximately 80 people attended the session.

A special thanks to Jessica Geiser, Lindsey Gant, and Kevin Miller for making the day a success!

For more information about Special Collections and University Archives please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.


October is American Archives Month!

In addition to celebrating the American record, archives month also raises awareness among the general public regarding the value of archives and archivists. Over the past few years, Pepperdine University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives has participated in the annual Archives Bazaar to promote such awareness. The event celebrates the diversity of Southern California’s history by bringing together archives, archivists, scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the history of Southern California in one central location at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library on Saturday, October 27, 2012, from 9am to 5pm.  The event is FREE and open to the public.

This year, the Rindge and Adamson Family Papers from Special Collections and University Archives, will be featured in the session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives.” Here is the description of the session:

“Just as speed dating brings together lonely hearts, this quick-paced series of 5-minute presentations will help connect scholars, students, and history buffs with the archival collections they need. More than a dozen L.A. as Subject members will share one notable item from their archives as a way of introducing their collections. Bring a notepad, watch the presentations, and then head down to the exhibition hall for a second date.”

Special Collections and University Archives will also have a booth at the event so stop by and say hi to learn more about the history of the university as well as the region!

For more information about the event please visit the Archives Bazaar website or contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu

Click here to view the Archives Bazaar Poster


Pepperdine Participates in LA Archives Bazaar

Pepperdine University Libraries Special Collections and Archives participated in the 6th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, held at USC earlier this month. Pepperdine joined more than 80 archives in the event, which brings Los Angeles history alive through displays, panel discussions, lectures, and film screenings. Other archives that were represented included UCLA Special Collections, the Autry National Center of the American West, and the Japanese American National Museum.

Approximately 1,000 visitors, including scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and others interested in Los Angeles history, browsed the exhibit hall and attended events throughout the day. The Pepperdine booth featured the historic Pepperdine video, 21 Years, as well as books and images from the Malibu Historical Collection and the University Archives. Visitors to the booth recalled the days when Pepperdine was located in South Central Los Angeles and reminisced about early surfing culture in Malibu. Many visitors learned about archival materials at Pepperdine that may enhance their research projects.

The Los Angeles Archives Bazaar is organized by L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and improving access to the raw material of Los Angeles history. Pepperdine is one of more than 230 collections represented in the L.A. as Subject online directory, which allows researchers to identify and access archival materials related to Los Angeles.

For more information about Los Angeles history in the Special Collections and Archives at Pepperdine, please contact Melissa Nykanen at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu or at (310) 506-4434.