SAA@UCLA Student: Ethnomusicology Tour 11/19/13

A reel-to-reel player
A reel-to-reel player

Our tour to the Ethnomusicology archive was a fascinating look at cultural music and technologies. We first began with a conversation with archivists Aaron M. Bittel and Maureen Russell about the multifaceted work an ethnomusicology archive, and what tasks are required. We looked at one of the first sound recording technologies ever patented by Thomas Edison. They demonstrated this early recording system, and then Aaron and Maureen displayed and explained various outdated forms of recording technology and how digitization occurs. Our hosts explained that many early audio recordings end up being lost due to deterioration in analogue formats, such as sticky shed syndrome.

An early Edison wax cylinder player
An early Edison wax cylinder player
A demonstration on how fragile cylinders were
A demonstration on how fragile cylinders were

After talking about the archive and the history of cultural music preservation, we took a tour of the Ethnomusicology Department and the various instrument rooms. We had a wonderful presentation by Professor Li who demonstrated a number of East Asian instruments including the Shamisen, Biwa, Gong set and Hulusi. She also informed us about her various performance ensembles and how UCLA acquired two Chinese parade dragons. We also were able to see UCLA’s famous Javanese and Balinese Gamelanset and a number of other traditional instruments on display. We ended the tour with a brief social where we had a chance to speak Aaron and Maureen in more detail.

A set of guzheng-a bridged Zither, in the Asian Instrument room
A set of guzheng-a bridged Zither,
in the Asian Instrument room
A variety of instruments in the Asian Instruments room
A variety of instruments in the Asian Instruments room



Peterson Automotive Museum Tour 4/26/13

SAA@UCLA is hosting a tour of the Peterson Automotive Museum. The visit will include a talk hosted by museum professionals about their archives and collection policies and a tour of the vault (which has a lot of amazing old cars, motorcycles, etc.).

More information about the Peterson here.peterson

Who: SAA@UCLA, IS students and faculty
What: Tour of Peterson Museum and vault, FREE of charge.
When: Friday, April 26 @ 11 am
Where: The Peterson Automotive Museum – 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036
(at Fairfax, across for LACMA)

Since there will be spacial limitations, we are limiting the tour to the first 15 folks who  email saying they can commit to the tour.

Send RSVPs to with the subject line “Peterson Tour RSVP.” Please note if you can provide a vehicle for carpooling, if you need a ride, or if you can meet us on site.

Los Angeles City Hall GIS Tour 3/07/13 Recap & Photos

UCLA MLIS students and some invited guests got a behind-the-scenes tour of the inner-workings of the Geographic Information Services (GIS) Office at LA City Hall in Downtown last week. The GIS Office works within the larger City Planning Department.  It functions as an interdepartmental resource in: managing the vast amounts of cartographic data through internal and public databases, providing historic permit research for architectural preservation efforts, and even creating original maps of the city and county for matters of legal and zoning issues.

Our tour was graciously led by Heber Martinez, a Systems Analyst with GIS, who started out as an intern and eventually made it up the ranks! After an introductory session on what GIS is and the related career paths, Heber led us through the work space of several GIS professionals. Lastly, our group got to see the Downtown skyline at the top-level observation deck.


Heber Martinez, Systems Analyst, shows us an example of a period map that’s been digitized. Additionally its information has been entered into a zoning database.


A 1962 map of Los Angeles, also digitized.


Heber and his GIS cohort, who is using ArcGIS and graphics software to layer on and create new maps for the city’s use.


Our UCLA IS students and guests, listen attentively.


The maps printing room, with the numerous jumbo color printers, each costing thousands of dollars!


We’re shown the dozens of servers that work to provide City Hall with the hard-disk and network space needed for thousands of employees. This is a back view of the servers with a cacophony of colorful cords.


A south view from the City Hall Observation Deck on the 27th floor. Straight ahead (in the post-modern, glass enclosure) is LAPD Headquarters and to the right is the historic Los Angeles Times building.


The famous 1920s art deco, 3rd level rotunda floor, view taken from above.

ImageCity Hall, facing south.

Los Angeles City Hall/GIS Tour 3/07/13

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SAA@UCLA, in collaboration with ASIS&T, is hosting a tour of the Geographic Information Services (GIS) office at Los Angeles City Hall in Downtown.

What is GIS? As the name suggests it’s a field which intersects between geography and information technology. In the case of LA City, cartographic software and hardware is especially used for functions such as zoning, planning, and historic preservation of architectural sites. GIS usually does not grant tours, but by special request they’ve graciously allowed us to visit. So this is a very exclusive and unique tour!

Also, Annie Tang–a former City Hall intern–will lead the group on a short informal tour of the beautiful 1920’s art deco building. Optional activities afterward include lunch in one of the nearby neighborhoods such as Olvera Street or Little Tokyo, as well as a walking tour of Old Los Angeles.

Who: SAA@UCLA, ASIS&T, MLIS and PhD students, IS faculty and staff
What: Tour of Los Angeles City GIS Department, followed by waling tour of city hall
When: Thursday, March 7 @ 10:00 am
Where: Los Angeles Civic Center (more details will follow for those interested in this event)

Please RSVP to Annie Tang –
A little history on city hall here.

Las Vegas Trip 2/15/13 Recap & Photos

A group of 13 UCLA MLIS students, faculty, and friends traveled to Las Vegas on the weekend of February 15 for a weekend of archives, museums, tours, and a little debauchery. Friday afternoon started with a tour of University of Las Vegas Nevada Special Collections. Su Kim Chung, the Manuscripts Librarian, greeted and presented us with some collection highlights, including historic maps of Las Vegas, books on gaming, showgirl costume sketches, photographs of the Rat Pack, and much more. The highlight for us aspiring archivists was going behind-the-scenes and checking out the awesome UNLV Library Preservation/Conservation Unit.

Su Kim invited our group to a reception for a “Vegas Style” exhibit at the Nevada State Museum. We couldn’t say no to hors d’oeuvre and drinks! The museum is located on the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, making for a lovely reception site.

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Continue reading “Las Vegas Trip 2/15/13 Recap & Photos”

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tour 2/07/13 Recap & Photos

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located about 45 minutes north of UCLA. This past Thursday, a group of UCLA MLIS students and IS professionals visited the Library and also had the opportunity to see the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit currently on display. Michael Duggan, Supervisory Archivist at the Reagan Library, led our group through a tour of the archives. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed behind-the-scenes, but here are a few from the museum exhibits:

2013-02-07 11.22.22  Continue reading “Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tour 2/07/13 Recap & Photos”

ONE Archives Tour 2/1/13 Recap & Photos

A group of SAA@UCLA members visited the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives today for a tour led by Project Archivist, Kyle Morgan. Founded in 1952, ONE is the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States. It is part of the University of Southern California Library system.


The building itself once housed a fraternity and now holds the largest repository of LGBTQ materials, including periodicals, film, books, video and audio recordings, photographs, art works, organization records, and personal papers. Walking in the front entrance, patrons are greeted at reference desk and are able to tour the open stacks, reading room, and a small gallery. ONE is stocked full of rich cultural and historical materials. We encourage one and all to pay them a visit. Internships are regularly available for MLIS students!!! 

More photos…

Continue reading “ONE Archives Tour 2/1/13 Recap & Photos”