Finding Aid for the Griffith Family Papers, 1845-1973

Processed by Manuscripts Division staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé and edited by Josh Fiala.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Griffith Family Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1845-1973
Collection number: 2060
Creator: Griffith family
Extent: 117 boxes (58.5 linear ft.) 1 oversize box
Abstract: Griffith Jenkins Griffith (1850-1919) engaged in mining operations in Mexico. In 1882, he purchased Los Feliz Rancho near Los Angeles, and acquired extensive real estate in the city. In 1896, he donated most of his ranch to the city for a public park, and in 1912 provided money for the construction of an astronomical observatory on Mt. Hollywood. His son, Van Griffith, became president of the Los Angeles Park Board, and was manager of the Griffith Park Transportation Company. He was also a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission and an ombudsman for Mayor Fletcher Bowron. His wife, Constance Griffith, served on the Los Angeles board of directors of the League of Women Voters and on the state board. The collection contains manuscripts, documents, photographs, glass negatives, newspapers, maps, clippings, magazines, books, and miscellaneous memorabilia of the Griffith family, including Griffith J. Griffith, his son Van, and Van's wife, Constance Griffith, including material in the Citizens Research Institute, the Los Angeles city police commission, the Griffith Trust Fund, and the League of Women Voters.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

  • Gift of Mrs. Van Griffith, 1975.
  • Gift of Mrs. Harold Griffith, 1976.
  • Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Griffith, 1976-77.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Griffith Family Papers (Collection 2060). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233097 

Biography

Griffith Jenkins Griffith was born on January 4, 1850 in Glamorganshire, South Wales; attended Fowler Institute, New York City; came to California in 1873; engaged in mining operations in Mexico; in 1882 purchased Los Feliz Rancho near Los Angeles, and acquired extensive real estate in the city; in 1896 donated most of his ranch to the city for a public park, and in 1912 provided money for the construction of an astronomical observatory on Mt. Hollywood; died on July 6, 1919; his son, Van Griffith, became president of the Los Angeles Park Board, and was manager of the Griffith Park Transportation Company; he was also a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission and an ombudsman for Mayor Fletcher Bowron; his wife, Constance Griffith, served on the Los Angeles board of directors of the League of Women Voters and on the state board.

Scope and Content

Collection contains manuscripts, documents, photographs, glass negatives, newspapers, maps, clippings, magazines, books, and miscellaneous memorabilia of the Griffith family, including Griffith J. Griffith, founder of Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Also contains papers of his son Van, and Van's wife, Constance Griffith, including material in the Citizens Research Institute, the Los Angeles city police commission, the Griffith Trust Fund, and the League of Women Voters.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Griffith family--Archives.
Griffith, Griffith J.--Archives.
Griffith, Van--Archives.
Griffith, Constance--Archives.
Civic leaders--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.

Items Removed from Collection

  • 64 glass negatives and 14 photographic negatives of aviators and aircraft [in small metal box].
[Items have not been placed in a box that can be requested. Consult Manuscripts Librarian for access.]

Container List

 

Papers Relating to Aviation, [1910-1932]

 

Aero Club of California, [1910-1913]

Box 1, Folders 1-2

2 minute books, June 7, 1910-June 7, 1913.

Scope and Content Note

Includes:
  • By-laws, 1909, 1911.
  • Articles of Incorporation, April 2, 1910.
  • Termination of affiliation with Aero Club of America, July 14, 1916.
Box 1, Folders 3-14

Correspondence bills, membership applications, and miscellany, 1909-1913.

Box 2, Folders 1-17

Correspondence bills, membership applications, and miscellany, 1909-1913.

Box 2, Folders 18-21

Local aviation meetings of 1910, 1911-1912, and 1913.

Box 30

Scrapbook of clippings re local aviation meets, 1912-1913.

Box 29

Framed Certification of Articles of Incorporation of Aero Club of California, 1910.

 

Aviation Magazine and Griffith Aviation Field, [1909-1963]

Box 3, Folders 2-18, Box 4

3 alphabetized book folders re Aviation Publishing Company and Griffith Aviation Field.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence, bills, photographs and biographical notes re flyers, 1909-15.
Box 5, Folders 1

Clippings and correspondence re aviation and Griffith Aviation Park, 1912.

Physical Description: (In envelope)
Box 29

Framed photograph of aviator Frank Champion.

Box 29

171 copper plates for photographs published in Aviation magazine.

Box 5, Folders 2

Correspondence with Harold E. Morehouse, 1962-1963, and various items as listed on the folder.

 

Books, [1910-1932]

Box 5, Folders 3-4

Yearbooks. Aero Club of America, 1910, 1911, 1913-1916.

Box 5, Folders 3

Handbook. Aero Club of America, 1911.

Scope and Content Note

Advance copy and another copy.
Box 6

Hoagland, Roland, W., ed. The Blue Book of Aviation. Los Angeles: The Hoagland Company, 1932.

Box 6

Lougheed, Victor. Vehicles of the Air (3rd edition). Chicago: Reilly and Britton Company, 1911.

Box 6

Hubbard, T.O'B., and others. The Aeroplane. London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1911.

Box 6

An account of the exercises on the occasion of the presentation of the Langley Medal... May 6, 1913... Washington, D.C.: the Smithsonian Institution, 1913.

Box 6

Langley, S.P. and Manley, Charles M. Langley memoir on mechanical flight. Washington, D.C.: the Smithsonian Institution, 1911.

Box 7

Berrman, A.E. Aviation. London: Methuen & Company, & New York: G.H. Doran Company, 1913.

Box 7

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. First and second annual reports (1915-1916). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1916 & 1917.

Box 7

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Report no.13, Meteorology & Aeronautics. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1917.

Box 7

National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Report no.14, Experimental Research on Air Propellers. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1917.

Box 7

Hatfield, D.D. Aeroplane Scrapbook, 1911-1929. Northrup Institute of Technology, 1971.

Box 8

8 miscellaneous publications of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Box 8, Folder 1

10 miscellaneous brochures and pamphlets.

 

Magazines, [1910-1930]

Box 3, Folders 1

Aviation (January-November 1911). Los Angeles, Aviation Publishing Company.

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.1-11.
Box 9

Aeronautics (January-September and November-December 1909; January-October and December 1910; April-December 1911; January-March, July and September-November 1912; May-December 1913; January-October 1914; March-July 1915). New York: Aeronautics Press, Incorporated.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.4, no.1-5.
  • vol.5, no.1-3, 5-6.
  • vol.6, no.1-6.
  • vol.7, no.1-4, 6.
  • vol.8, no.4-6.
  • vol.9, no.1-6.
  • vol.10, no.1-3.
  • vol.11, no.1, 3-5.
  • vol.12, no.5, 6.
  • vol.13, no.1-6.
  • vol.14, no.1-12.
  • vol.15, no.1-8.
  • vol.16, no.1-6, 8.
  • vol.17, no.1-2.
Box 10-11

Aerial Age (May-July 1913). Chicago: Aerial Age Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.10.
  • vol.2, no.1-2.
Box 11

Aerial Age (March 22, May 10, 24, 31, June 28, July 5 and 19, September 13 and 27, October 18, 1915; January 18, April 24, May 15 and 29, July 10 and 24, September 25, October 9-30, November 13, December 18-25, 1916; January 1, 22-29, February 12, April 2 and 23, May 14 and 28, July 23, August 6, September 3, 1917). New York: Aerial Age Company, Incorporated.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.1-8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18-26.
  • vol.2, no.2-5, 18-26.
  • vol.3, no.1-6, 9, 11-17, 19-26.
  • vol.4, no.1-2, 4-7, 9, 14-16, 19, 20, 22-26.
  • vol.5, no.1-3, 6-9, 11-19, 21-25.
Box 11

Aircraft (March-September, December 1911; January 1912). New York: the Lawson Publishing Company.

Scope and Content Note

vol.2, no.1-7, 10, 11.
Box 11

Aero (December 10, 1910; October 21, November 11, 18, 1911). St. Louis: Aero Publishing Company.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.10.
  • vol.3, no.3, 6, 7.
Box 11

Flight (June 17, 1911). London: the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom.

Scope and Content Note

vol.3, no.24.
Box 12

Flying (November 1912-December 1913; January-December 1914; January-June, August-October 1915; February-April, June-September 1916). New York: the Aero Club of America.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.10-12.
  • vol.2, no.1-12.
  • vol.3, no.1-12.
  • vol.4, no.1-5, 7-9.
  • vol.5, no.1-3, 5-8.
Box 13, Folder 1

Aero Club of America Bulletin (February/March, April 1912). New York: the Aero Club of America.

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.2,3.
Box 13, Folder 2-4

Fly (December 1910; October-December 1911; January, March-April, June, August, September, November, December, 1912; April 1913). Philadelphia: Aero Publishing Company.

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.3, no.2, 12.
  • vol.4, no.1-3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11.
  • vol.5, no.1-2, 6.
Box 13, Folder 5

The Ace (April-July, 1922). Los Angeles: the Ace Publishing Company.

Scope and Content Note

vol.3,nos. 4-7.
Box 13, Folder 6

Western Flight (June 14-28, 1913). San Francisco: Irvin C. Keeler.

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.1-3.
Box 13, Folder 7

Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering (September 15, 1916). New York: the Gardner, Moffat Company.

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.4.
Box 13, Folder 8

Aviation (July 5, 1930). New York: McGraw Hill Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Scope and Content Note

vol.29, no.1.
 

Duplicate Magazines, [1911-1930]

Box 14

Aerial Age (June 1913).

Scope and Content Note

vol.2, no.1.
Box 14

Aerial Age (August 2, October 11, 1915; March, 20, April 3, 1916).

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.20.
  • vol.2, no.4.
  • vol.3, no.1, 3.
Box 14

Aeronautics (May-July 1911; December 1913).

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.8, no.5, 6.
  • vol.9, no.1.
  • vol.13, no.6.
Box 14

Aero Club of America Bulletin (February/March, April 1912).

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.2 (2 copies), 3 (5 copies).
Box 14

Aviation (July 5, 1930).

Scope and Content Note

vol.29, no.1.
Box 14

Flying (November 1912; November 1913; March-April 1914).

Scope and Content Note

  • vol.1, no.10.
  • vol.2, no.10 (2 copies).
  • vol.3, no.2-3.
Box 14

Western Flight (June 21, 1913).

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.2.
 

Papers re Griffith J. Griffith, [1896-1967]

Box 15, Folder 1

Autobiography and biographical accounts, ca. 1903-1937.

Box 15, Folder 2

Crime and Criminals. Los Angeles: Prison Reform League, 1910.

Note

(Chapter 4 by Griffith)
Box 15, Folder 2

Griffith, Griffith J. Parks, Boulevards and Playgrounds. Los Angeles: Prison Reform League, 1910.

Box 15, Folder 2

Correspondence and clippings, 1905-1950, including letter from Leo Tolstoy to Griffith, April 3/16, 1910.

Box 15, Folder 3

Ringbinder of research material compiled by Marion Bowen re Griffith and Rancho Los Feliz, 1937-1950.

Box 15, Folder 4

Legal documents re Griffith, including naturalization papers, 1877, copy will filed 1919, correspondence and papers re estate and gifts of property to the City of Los Angeles, 1896-1931.

Box 15, Folder 5

Articles and clippings re Griffith's park gifts, 1924-1967.

Box 15, Folder 6

Correspondence re Greek Theatre, 1913-1914.

Box 15, Folder 7

Correspondence re Hall of Science and Observatory, 1913-14.

Box 29

11 photographic prints.

Box 29

2 glass negatives of Griffith.

 

Los Feliz Rancho History, [1845-1973]

Box 16, Folder 1

Abstract of title, 1845-1887.

Box 16, Folder 2-3

Miscellaneous deeds and legal papers including abstract of title, schedule of deeds and field notes, 1871-1896.

Box 16, Folder 4

Pictures and articles re 2 adobe buildings, ca. 1912-1921.

Box 30

2 framed pictures of adobe buildings.

Box 16, Folder 4

Agreement to dig for treasure, 1896, and miscellaneous articles re history of the rancho, 1930-1973.

Box 29

Printed map of the Old Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Los Angeles County.

 

Griffith Park, [1917-1970s]

Box 17, Folder 1-4

Miscellaneous correspondence, clippings and magazine articles, 1922-70s.

Box 17, Folder 5

Clippings and correspondence re Park Commission and 1928 National Park Convention, 1917-1939.

Box 17, Folder 6

Miscellaneous articles re saving public parks, 1963-1975.

Box 17, Folder 7

Clippings and correspondence re Park Water System and fire protection, 1898-1957.

Box 17, Folder 8-11

Clippings, correspondence and papers re controversial decisions, 1916-1964.

Box 17, Folder 12

Clippings re proposed projects not authorized, 1953-1963.

Box 17, Folder 13-20

Clippings, brochures, correspondence and miscellany re features of Griffith Park, 1931-1964.

Box 17, Folder 21

7 photographs of Griffith Park.

Box 29

6 Architect's drawings (Sketches 1-6) of proposed entrance to Mt. Hollywood Road, n.d.

 

Greek Theatre, [1912-1975]

Box 18, Folder 1

Correspondence, copy minutes, dedicatory program and miscellany, 1912-1962.

Box 18, Folder 2

Clippings, 1930-1975.

Physical Description: (In envelope)
Box 18, Folder 3-4

Correspondence, clippings and papers re development proposals, 1951-1969.

Box 18, Folder 5

2 photographic prints.

Box 29

Architect's sketch of Theatre.

 

Hall of Science and Industry, [1912-1975]

Box 19, Folder 1

Correspondence, copy minutes, reports and agreement and miscellaneous papers, 1912-1962.

Box 19, Folder 2

Miscellaneous pictures and sketches.

Box 19, Folder 3

Brochures and programs, ca. 1912-1955.

Box 19, Folder 4

Clippings, 1930s-1960s.

Box 19, Folder 5-7

Griffith Observer (February 1937-December 1975).

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.1-vol.39, no.12 (incomplete run).
Box 19, Folder 8

Resolution by City Council on twentieth anniversary of Observatory, 1955.

Box 19, Folder 9

3 photographic negatives and 1 print.

Box 30

1 photographic print.

 

Los Angeles Park System, [1891-1913]

Box 20, Folder 1-8

Correspondence and clippings re park system and personalities, 1891-1970s.

Box 20, Folder 9

11 photographic prints of various parks.

Box 31

2 albums, photographs of various parks, 1911-1913.

 

Van M. Griffith and Park Work, [1915-1923]

Box 21, Folder 1-6

Clippings, photographs, record books and miscellany, 1915-1973.

Box 21, Folder 1-6

Ledger, 1915-1923; printing block.

 

Law Suits to Protect Griffith Park Property, [1946-1960]

Box 22-24

Correspondence, legal papers and clippings, 1946-1960.

Physical Description: (21 folders)
 

Park Board, [September 1930-December 1931]

Box 25

Copy minutes, September 1930-December 1931 (gaps).

Physical Description: (14 folders)
 

Books and Reports Relating to Parks, [1969 and n.d.]

Box 26

[No further description available].

Physical Description: (30 items)
Box 31

Griffith park coster plan, 1969.

 

Grand Jury Papers, [1934-1970s]

Box 27, Folder 1

Manual for grand jurors in the City of New York. Grand Jury Association, New York County Fund Corporation, 1948.

Box 27, Folder 2

Reports of 1934 Los Angeles County Grand Jury. List of proposed grand jurors, 1934.

Physical Description: (Bound volume)
Box 27, Folder 3

Final Report of 1936 Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

Box 27, Folder 4

List of jurors, roster, notes of evidence, clippings, interim and final reports, 1949 Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

Box 27, Folder 5

Clippings and final report, 1951 Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

Box 27, Folder 6

Clippings and final report, 1952 Los Angeles County Grand Jury.

Box 27, Folder 7-12

Clippings, correspondence, various lists and miscellaneous items re County Grand juries, 1937-71, n.d.

Box 27, Folder 13

Clippings and ephemera re the grand jury system, 1937-1971.

Box 30

Photographic print of 1950 Grand Jury.

Box 28, Folder 1-6

Correspondence, reports, clippings and papers re1950 County Grand Jury.

Box 28, Folder 7

Correspondence, clippings and papers re1955 Federal Grand Jury.

 

Miscellaneous Publications, [1912]

Box 28, Folder 8

Sports{February 22, March 2, 1912).

Scope and Content Note

vol.1, no.1-2.
 

Memorabilia and Miscellaneous, [1922-1955]

Box 30

Resolution, Board of Park Commissioners to retiring Board President, 1930.

Box 30

2 certificates of appointment of Van M. Griffith as member of Board of Park Commissioners, 1922, 1927.

Box 30

Plaque awarded to Van M Griffith as Foreman of the 1955 Federal Grand Jury of Southern California.

 

Constance Griffith Papers, [1951-1953 and n.d.]

Box 33

League of Women Voters study, Civil Liberty & Security (1952), Review of LWV Study & Action (1953).

Box 34

Civil liberties studies approved, challenged, August 14 and 21, 1951.

Box 35

Implementing the study of Civil Liberties & Security, 1951-1952.

Box 36

Foundation of Freedoms Institute, March 1, 1952, Controversy over UNESCO

Box 37

Foundation Freedom Institute and kit, controversy over UNESCO resignations, 1952-1953.

Box 38

Constance Griffith letters, 1943-1949.

Box 50

Silverlake unit.

Box 51

Politics -- state & local goverment.

Box 68

Personal papers.

Box 97-99

University extension classes.

 

[League of Women Voters, 1947-1963]

Box 40

State & national, 1947-1960.

Box 41

Los Angeles, 1947-1948.

Box 43

1948-1949.

Box 44

1949-1950.

Box 45

1950-1951.

Box 46

Los Angeles, 1951-1952, mental health, miscellany -- civil liberties.

Box 47

Los Angeles, 1954-1963.

Box 48

Los Angeles, 1940-1953.

Boxes 53-58, 64-65

[No further description available].

Boxes 60, 63

Local government study.

Box 70-72

Local, 1941-1951.

Boxes 80-82

League of Women Voters and local government study materials, 1944-1948, 1945-1951.

Box 83-85

1945-1951.

 

[Miscellaneous, v.d.]

Box 32

Van Griffith correspondence, papers, clippings.

Box 38

Beverly Hills-Wilshire separation, 1941-1943.

Box 39

Clippings re civil liberties, 1946-1953.

Box 48

Education, housing, health, structure of goverment.

Box 49

Silverlake, 1947-1951, community survey.

Box 52

Removal of Van [Griffith] as police commissioner.

Box 59

Clippings & articles on early aviation, 1920s-1930s.

Box 61

Clippings & pamphlets about parks.

Box 62

Unidentified.

Box 67

Los Angeles county & city.

Box 73

Citizens Research Institute -- seal & address cards.

Boxes 74, 77

Local government, 1952.

Boxes 69, 75

Fundamentals of government.

Box 76

Unidentified [“1 letter from Norris Poulson”].

Boxes 66, 78-79, 95-96, 107-108

Police Commission.

Boxes 86-89

Politics -- State & Local Government, 1947-1951.

Box 86

Photograph of Griffith J. Griffith, printed material.

Box 87-88

[No further description available].

Box 89

Publications.

Box 91

Publications.

Boxes 92-94, 100-104

Citizens Research Institute.

Boxes 105-106

Parks, Griffith trust fund, elections.

Boxes 109-117

Print blocks.

Box 118

Articles of incorporation.

Physical Description: (1 item)