Athletics and Angelenos: LASA explores sports and archives in Los Angeles

On October 15, LASA explored sports in Los Angeles (as an industry, as a force reshaping the landscape, and as a cultural experience).

We met inside USC Gate 1 and were joined by Anne-Marie Jones of LA84. Her energy for non-profit work in LA guided us to think about the wide range of possibilities for future work in non-profits but also in sports outside the more obvious contexts of playing and coaching. She planted an impressive number of seeds.

We then walked to the Coliseum for a comprehensive and entertaining tour of the iconic space. From the Court of Honor to the locker room, we learned about the deep history of the Coliseum – as a sports venue (college, professional, and Olympic) and as a space for speaking events and concerts. Much of the history of LA from the 1920s to the present is wrapped up within those stands and on the field. Thanks to Niki Angleton who helped us behind the scenes and to our terrific tour guide, Sheree, for her depth of knowledge and boundless enthusiasm.

After a lunch break in the USC History Department, we visited the LA Archives Bazaar at Doheny Library. The Bazaar draws collectors, institutions, and people interested in LA’s past together. We interviewed many who were present about the scope and contents of their collections and how they got started. And we even participated in a bubble gum blowing contest in connection with a display on baseball and LA. After gathering on the front lawn of Doheny to share our reflections on our archive discoveries, we walked across campus and ended the day exactly where we started it – inside Gate 1 feeling like we had run a marathon on our day of thinking about sports.