Skid Row History Museum and Archives

Catherine Gudis
UC Riverside

UCR’s Public History Program in collaboration with UCLA’s Community Archives Internship Program partners with the Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Skid Row History Museum and Archives (SRHMA) on a three-pronged project. First, participants conduct archives-based research and facilitate oral history collection (with community members interviewing each other) that will fill significant gaps in the documentary record regarding community formation and historical developments in the Skid Row neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles. Second, they inventory, catalogue, and help process SRHMA’s growing collections, which thus far have focused primarily on the last 40 years of activist history and also include oral histories, videos, and printed matter documenting Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) projects since the group’s founding in 1985. Finally, with community collaborators they co-create an installation at the Skid Row History Museum and Archives drawn from research findings, archival collections, and a co-hosted series of community conversations. These conversations focus particularly on public safety, health, and hygiene–interrelated issues identified as pressing today by members of LAPD, activist groups, and service providers in the area.