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Finding Aid for the All Nations Church and Foundation photographs

Finding aid prepared by Sue Tyson, 2011 June 10

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
All Nations Foundation (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Creator
Church of All Nations (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Creator
Dick Whittington Studio. -- Photographs
Title
All Nations Church and Foundation photographs
Collection no.
0421
Date
circa 1924-1967
Extent
5.0 linear ft., 6 boxes
Language
English
Abstract
The All Nations Church and Foundation photographs (circa 1924-1967) consist of photographic material in a variety of formats; the collection provides a rich view of the people, community, and activities associated with the All Nations Foundation's operations in Los Angeles. Among the subjects documented in the photographs are All Nations centers and community life; arts and education; recreation and leisure; groups and individuals; and publicity materials. The collection complements the All Nations Church and Foundation records, also held in the California Social Welfare Archives at USC.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], All Nations Church and Foundation photographs, Collection no. 0421, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Historical note

All Nations, in its heyday the largest and most effective social welfare organization in Los Angeles, was begun in 1918 in an east-central section of the city known as "Eastside." The City Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, under pastor Bromley Oxnam, established and ran the church settlement, gathering donations, organizing volunteers, buying land and buildings, and equipping gymnasiums, playgrounds, libraries, and clinics for a community where three-fourths of the families were on public assistance and where much of the population consisted of immigrants from Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Oxnam initially developed the physical facilities of All Nations, acquiring a complex of buildings at 810-816-824 E. Sixth Street just before his resignation from the organization in 1927.

Oxnam's successor was the Reverend Robert A. McKibben, whose work as administrator, social worker, fund raiser, and collaborator with other social welfare agencies, including the Federal and Los Angeles Relief Administrations and the National Youth Administration, ensured the continued success of All Nations. Character-building activities for the children, a vacation bible school, the library, and medical programs--including medical and dental clinics served by a cadre of approximately fifty volunteer doctors, optometrists, and dentists--were critical services in the work of All Nations. Especially noteworthy was All Nations' extraordinarily successful Boys' Club, which became a Boys' Club of America in 1927 with some 950 members from thirty nationalities and fifteen religions. All Nations also operated two other community centers: the Sunset Community Center at 1001-1005 Sunset Boulevard, and the Hollenbeck Heights Social Center at 200 North St. Louis Street. These branches of All Nations concentrated on work with youths. When McKibben began his work with All Nations, the Eastside had the highest delinquency rate in the city, but within the next three years, that rate would drop by 65%.

Reverend McKibben left All Nations in 1952, and was succeeded by James Mixon. By the 1960s, new industrial development in the area and slum clearance had reduced the area's population. Such changes led to questions about the usefulness of traditional settlement programs in this area; at the same time, All Nations' principal support began to come from the United Way rather than from the Methodist Church.

Information in this note is based on the Historical Note for the All Nations Church and Foundation records collection (0403) finding aid, developed by Jane Adler and Clay Stalls, with additional information and editing by Sue Tyson. All information in this history comes from material in the collection; from Robert McKibben, With The Master into the Heart of the City: First Forty Years of All Nations Foundations ([S.l.] [s.n.], 1977?); and from Mark H. Wild, Street Meeting: Multiethnic Neighborhoods in Early Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005). The founding date of 1918 is referenced in Wild's book.

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Scope and Content

The All Nations Church and Foundation photographs (circa 1924-1967) contain approximately 800 photographs, including approximately 350 regular and 15 oversize photographs; 113 slides; 139 glass slides; 66 negatives in various formats; and 140 photographs that were used for a publicity campaign. The collection also contains textual material, in the form of lists of captions for the publicity campaign, and two short films, the contents of which are unknown. Most of the collection's materials are undated and unidentified, though some images provide dates, captions, or other writing that can aid in identification; dated materials encompass the years 1924-1967, with the bulk of this material dating from the 1940s to the 1960s; one slide from the Statistical Maps (Slides) series is dated 1914.

Despite the lack of identifying information or attribution, the All Nations Church and Foundation photographs provide a rich view of the All Nations organization, as seen in images of people, community, activities, and facilities. The photographs portray a range of subject matter, including All Nations centers and community life; arts and education; recreation and leisure; groups and individuals; and publicity. Within these broad themes, images depict churches and religious services; learning activities such as reading and arts and crafts; music and drama; sports and excursions; festivities such as dances and parties; and medical and dental care at the organization's clinics. The collection's statistical map slides cover a range of issues pertinent to social services and social work in Los Angeles, including but not limited to data concerning neglected children; vagrancy; sexual assaults; runaways; and various crimes committed by youths. The textual materials in the Publicity Pictures series were organized by All Nations into seven packets, with the following titles: The Nature of the Inner City; Forms of Inner City Ministry; Inner City Preschoolers; Inner City Children; Inner City Youth; Inner City Adults; and Meditations. The contents of the films in the Films series are unknown. While this series also contains boxes for shipping films, the collection does not include the films mentioned on these containers.

Images in the collection include All Nations Boys' Club and All Nations Clinic. The collection also includes several photographs by the "Dick” Whittington Studio.

The condition of the materials in the collection ranges from poor to good. Some of the photographs are bent or torn, and several of the glass slides are cracked.

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Organization note

The photographs are organized into seven series: Centers and Community; Arts and Education; Recreation and Leisure; Groups and Individuals; Statistical Maps (Slides); Publicity Picture Packets; and Films and Film Materials. Grouping of images is based on their main subject matter.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
2011 June 10
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The use of archival materials for on-site research does not constitute permission from the California Social Welfare Archives to publish them. Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives, and the researcher is instructed to obtain permission to quote from or publish manuscripts in the CSWA's collections from the copyright holder.

Acquisition

Gift of James Blaine, former Director of All Nations Boys Club.

Processing note

Clay Stalls partially processed this collection in 2000. In 2011, Sue Tyson completed processing the collection and produced this finding aid.

The order in which the collection's series are arranged reflects their relative cohesiveness of subject matter and level of specificity. Centers and Community; Arts and Education; and Recreation and Leisure appear first because they provide the most specific references to or indications of the All Nations Church and Foundation's areas of operation and functions. The Groups and Individuals series follows these series because of its more miscellaneous character; though this series has the most photographs, its images reflect a wide range of activities. The Statistical Maps (Slides) and the Publicity Picture Packets series follow these others because they represent narrower areas of focus. Because the contents of the films in the Films and Film Materials series are unknown, this series appears last.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials

All Nations Church and Foundation records, Collection no. 0403, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • All Nations Boys Club (Los Angeles, Calif.). -- Photographs
  • All Nations Clinic. -- Photographs
  • All Nations Foundation (Los Angeles, Calif.). -- Photographs
  • Church of All Nations (Los Angeles, Calif.). -- Photographs

Genre(s)

  • Photographs
  • Slides (photographs)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--History--Photographs--Archival resources
  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--Social conditions--Photographs

Subject(s)

  • Art and recreation--Photographs
  • Arts--Study and teaching--Activity programs--Photographs
  • Clinics--Photographs
  • Community centers--Photographs
  • Community health services--Photographs
  • Outdoor recreation--Photographs
  • Recreation--Photographs
  • Social history--Societies and clubs--Social aspects--Photographs
  • Social service--California--Los Angeles--Photographs
  • Social work with youth--Photographs
  • Sports--Photographs
  • Urban youth--Services for--California--Photographs

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Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Centers and Community 1939; 1966; undated 

Scope and Content

This series contains 160 photographs with images of neighborhood centers, clubs, community ventures and services, organizations, churches and religious services, and community and neighborhood life, and one map depicting All Nations’ service areas and institutions in Los Angeles. Organizations, clubs, and centers shown in the images include Aliso Village; the All Nations Neighborhood Center; the All Nations Community House; Hollenbeck Center; Pico Gardens; the All Nations Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs; All Nations Clinic; and community ventures such as the All Nations Bargain Box. Some photographers and studios with photographs in this series include “Dick” Whittington; Otto Rothschild; Arthur Dubinsky; Fred A. Roberts; and Cinema Consultants International.

 All Nations Foundation Organizational Information and Map undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 1
    Box Folder
Maps   1 1
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 1

Scope and Content

Includes a map of All Nations service areas and glass slides, one of an All Nations organization chart and one entitled, "12 months' service."

 Centers and Organizations undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 3-4
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 2-3
    Box Folder
Negatives   1 44

Scope and Content

Includes photographs featuring Aliso Village and Community; All Nations Neighborhood Center; All Nations Community House; Hollenbeck Center; and Pico Gardens either in captions or in text included on the images. Also includes photographs and glass slides featuring unidentified images of assorted centers and neighborhood scenes.

For more photographs relating to specific centers, see the Arts and Education series, Specific Clubs and Chapters, Box 1, Folders 13-14.

 All Nations Boys' Club; Girls' Club Room 1939; undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 5
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 1
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 4

Scope and Content

Includes images of the All Nations Boys' Club and of the Girls' Club Room. Also includes a photograph of a dinner event sponsored by All Nations Boys' Club, Hollywood Boys' Club, and Pasadena Boys' Club that was held at the Ambassador Hotel, March 15, 1939. Herbert Hoover, Sanford Bates, and Joe E. Brown are listed as speakers on the front of the photograph.

 All Nations Clinic; Healthcare undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 2
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 5

Scope and Content

Includes photographs and glass slides depicting the All Nations Clinic or healthcare.

 Churches and Religious Services 1966; undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 6
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 2
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 6

Scope and Content

Includes photographs depicting churches and religious services; also contains three glass slides that were originally labelled "Church."

 Community Ventures and Services; Community and Community Life undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 8
    Box Folder
Slides (Photography)   2 12
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 7
    Box Folder
Negatives   1 7

Scope and Content

Includes photographs--positives and negatives--and glass slides with images of community, community life, and community ventures and services, and three slides of a police car and people, presumably taken in the community.

 "Church"; "Camp"; "Center" -- Slides and Captions List undated 


    Box Folder
Slides (Photography)   2 16
    Box Folder
Text   2 16

Scope and Content

This folder contains ten 35 mm slides and one page of text entitled "2 x 2 Slides Script"; the "script," which is a list of captions, is divided into sections for "Church"; "Camp"; and "Center." The collection does not include all of the slides referenced. This folder also contains 20 large-format slides that were originally included in the collection with the 35 mm slides and script.

Box Envelope

 Portraits and Photographs of Los Angeles, buildings and environs undated 

Scope and Content

Ten glass slides, some in color, of Los Angeles and of buildings.

3 9

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Series 2:  Arts and Education 1941-1942; 1953; 1961; 1966-1967; undated 

Scope and Content

This series includes approximately 120 photographs, some with dates but most undated, that show a range of activities in arts and education. Major topics of the photographs in this series include instruction and learning; arts and crafts; and music, dance, and performance. The series also includes photographs arranged according to their location in specific clubs and chapters, where this is indicated in the photographs. Names of clubs and chapters mentioned in this series include Aliso Village Methodist Church; All Nations Foundation (Soto and Michigan); Boys’ Club; Community House; Church; Coop Nursery; Eastside Center; Hollenbeck Center; and the Play Center. Some photographers and studios with photographs in this series include “Dick” Whittington; CBS Photo by Bob Clouse; Jack Tiffany; Methodist Information—Trotter; Fred A. Roberts; and Cinema Consultants International.

 Instruction and Learning 1966-1967; undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 8-9
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 4

Scope and Content

Contains photographs showing a variety of learning activities, including reading and classroom instruction.

 Arts and Crafts; Industrial Arts undated 


    Box Folder
Slides (Photography)   2 12
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 10-12

Scope and Content

Contains photographs showing a range of arts and crafts learning activities, including industrial arts; also contains images of art and craft displays.

Box Folder

 Specific Clubs and Chapters 1961; 1967; undated 

Scope and Content

Includes images with captions or text naming Aliso Village Methodist Church; "Church"; Hollenbeck Center; Eastside Center; Coop Nursery; All Nations Foundation; Boys' Club; and Play Center.

For more materials relating to specific centers, see the Centers and Community series.

1 13-14

 Music, Drama, and Performance 1941-1942; 1953; undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 15-16
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 3

Scope and Content

Contains photographs showing a various activities, including performance, in music and drama.

Box Folder

 Arts and Education -- Negatives undated 

Scope and Content

Topics depicted in the negatives include instruction and learning as well as arts and crafts.

1 45

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Series 3:  Recreation and Leisure 1967; undated 

Scope and Content

The series includes approximately 175 photographs that show people participating in various forms of recreation and leisure activities in which the All Nations Foundation engaged. Activities include excursions such as camping, picnicking, and field trips; sports and games; festivities, celebrations, dances, and fairs; dining; and holiday parties. Some photographers and studios with photographs in this series include Keystone; “Dick” Whittington; Otto Rothschild; Arthur Dubinsky; Fred A. Roberts; and Cinema Consultants International.

 Excursions 1951; 1961; 1966; undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 17-20
    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   3 7
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 6

Scope and Content

Along with photographs, images of excursions include 14 glass slides originally labelled "Camp."

 Sports and Games undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 21-24
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 5

Box Folder

 Festivities; Dances; Dining undated 

1 25-29

 Recreation and Leisure -- Negatives undated 

Scope and Content

Includes negative images of excursions; sports and games; and festivities

1 46

 Recreation and Leisure -- Slides 1967 

Scope and Content

Contains eight 35 mm slides showing images of excursions and sports, dated 1967.

2 14

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Series 4:  Groups and Individuals 1920s to 1960s; undated 

Scope and Content

This series contains approximately 330 photographs, 73 35 mm slides, and 23 glass slides; the primary focus of the images is groups (those featuring two or more people) and individuals. Some of the photographs have dates and/or captions, though most do not, and the vast majority has neither attribution nor information identifying photos’ subjects. Some of the photographs depict various aspects of the All Nations Foundation and its activities. Some photographers and studios with photographs in this series include David Fay; Fred A. Roberts; and Cinema Consultants International. In addition to the photographs, this series also includes 73 slides and 23 glass slides (20 positive and 3 negatives), as described in the subcategories "Individuals"; "Groups"; and "Individuals and Groups." Most of the slides in the series date from the 1960s.

 Individuals 1932; 1947; 1953; 1959; undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 30-33
    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 1-2

Scope and Content

This category contains photographs and glass slides featuring unidentified individuals. The glass slides were originally labelled "Kids."

 Groups 1920s-1960s; undated 


    Box Folder
Photographs   1 34-42
    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 3-5
    Box Folder
Photographs   5 7

Scope and Content

This category contains photographs and glass slides with images of groups. Box 4, Envelope 5 contains six glass slides that were originally labelled "Kids ANF Families."

 Groups and Individuals undated 


    Box Folder
Negatives   1 47
    Box Folder
Photographs   1 43
    Box Folder
Slides (Photography)   2 15

Scope and Content

Includes photographs, negatives, and slides depicting individuals and groups.

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Series 5:  Statistical Maps (Slides) 1914; 1924-1925; undated 

Scope and Content

This series contains 49 glass slides with images of statistical maps of Los Angeles. Some of the slides have titles and concern topics including runaway children; juvenile delinquency and crime; drug addiction; and sexual assault. Other slides do not have titles. The slides are divided into those with dates and those that are undated. Within these divisions, negatives are separated from positives. Some of the slides, including most of the negatives, duplicate the content of the positive slides.

 Dated 1914; 1924-1925 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 7
    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 6

Scope and Content

Glass slides of survey maps dated mostly from 1924-1925, with one slide from 1914; some of the slides are negatives. The slides' topics include "Boys charged with grand larceny"; "Accidents to boys"; "Neglected children"; "Sex victims"; "Runaway boys"; "Runaway girls"; "Boy burglaries"; "Runaway and vagrant boys"; "Boys charged with petty larceny"; "Boys gangs"; and "Vice and liquor complaints."

 Undated undated 


    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 8
    Box Envelope
Slides (Photography)   4 9

Scope and Content

Undated slides, both positives and negatives, of statistical maps concerning truancy, drug addiction, territory annexed to City of Los Angeles, moving picture theaters, and other unspecified topics.

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Series 6:  Publicity Picture Packets undated 

Scope and Content

This series contains approximately 140 photographs and textual materials that were originally contained in a folder entitled, "Publicity Picture Packets"; the seven "packets" appear to have been generated for a publicity campaign. Each packet consists of a list of photographs and captions addressing a particular topic, with titles as follows: The Nature of the Inner City (Packet I); Forms of Inner City Ministry (Packet II); Inner City Preschoolers (Packet III); Inner City Children (Packet IV); Inner City Youth (Packet V); Inner City Adults (Packet VI); and Meditations (Packet VII).

The photographs in the series accompany these packets, though not all of the photographs referenced by the text were included with the collection. Photographs are numbered, and some of the photographs are used in more than one packet. Some of the photographs in the series are stamped, “Photography by Fred A. Roberts” and “Cinema Consultants International, 1700 E. Walnut, Pasadena, California.” Materials are undated.

The series is arranged as follows: Folder 2:1, entitled "Packet Pictures," contains captions and lists of pictures for Packets I through VII. Folders 2:2 through 2:8 contain captions for each of the packets. Folders 2:9 through 2:11 contain photographs accompanying the packets; these are arranged by the numbers provided on the photographs, and are broken down as follows: Folder 2:9 contains photographs numbered 1-1 through 9-8 and 10-10 through 19-9; Folder 2:10 contains photographs numbered 20-8 through 29-9 and 30-9 through 38-3; and Folder 2:11 contains photographs numbered 41-5 through 50-4. In addition, Folder 2:11 also contains unnumbered photographs or photographs that are apparently from another sequence.

Box Folder

 Packet Pictures -- Captions and Picture Lists for Publicity Picture Packets I-VII undated 

2 1

 Captions for Packet I: The Nature of the Inner City undated 

2 2

 Captions for Packet II: Forms of Inner City Ministry undated 

2 3

 Captions for Packet III: Inner City Preschoolers undated 

2 4

 Captions for Packet IV: Inner City Children undated 

2 5

 Captions for Packet V: Inner City Youth undated 

2 6

 Captions for Packet VI: Inner City Adults undated 

2 7

 Captions for Packet VII: Meditations undated 

2 8

 Publicity Pictures undated 

2 9-11

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Series 7:  Films and Film Materials 1927; 1928; 1933; 1936; 1951; 1959; 1960; undated 

Scope and Content

This series contains two films, the contents and length of which are unknown. It also contains several boxes used to store and ship film reels; writing on these boxes includes names, titles of reels, dates, and addresses. The collection does not include the films mentioned on these boxes.

Box Folder

 "Reel 17" undated 

Scope and Content

Contains one film reel; contents unknown, and possibly undeveloped or exposed.

6 1

 "Reel 21" undated 

Scope and Content

Contains one film reel. Content unknown, but is possibly a roll of leader.

6 2

 Film Boxes 1927; 1928; 1933; 1936; 1951; 1959; 1960; undated 

Scope and Content

Contains nine boxes, or fragments of boxes, used to ship film reels. Some contain writing with dates, addresses or names, including that of Bromley Oxnam.

6 3

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