One of the things I want the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities (LAIH) to do more of is field trips – Exploring the city together! We’re an LA resource (as I’ve said in earlier posts) and so we should visit with and strengthen our relationships with some of those other LA resources, whether they be physical places, or groups of people (like us), etc.
Friday saw us take a wonderful field trip to the William A. Clark Memorial Library. It is another of those classic LA things – an amazing gem hidden away that you pass every day and don’t see. It is not far from USC, and in fact a number of USC faculty I know have used it regularly for research, since it has several important collections of papers and rare books of various sorts (Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, etc).
A lot of these were put out for us to see by Head Librarian (and LAIH Fellow) Victoria Steele and her staff, and they gave us a guided tour. During the tour we also had remarks by (LAIH fellow) Leo Braudy (showing us several of his favourite items, some of which he uses for teaching) and Michael Silverblatt (of the KCRW show Bookworm) who told us the history of one of the books. Then we had great conversations over lunch under one of the most splendid Moreton Bay fig trees I’ve ever seen!
A little slide show is below. Look out for all the excellent hats being worn, incidentally, including the splendid one by (of course) (new LAIH Fellow Patt Morrison). (If the slide show does not show up, go to the album at picasa here.)