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Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner photographs, negatives and clippings--portrait files (N-Z)

Identifier: 7000-1c

Scope and Content

7000.1--Portrait files consists of photographic prints maintained in over 53,000 file folders. The bulk of the portrait files photographs are gelatin silver prints and made to the conventional American standard dimension of 8x10 inches, although other dimensions are present as well. The dates of the prints cover the newspaper's lifetime, but the vast majority date from the early 1930s to the paper's closure in 1961. A small number of original and copy negatives are scattered through the files. Newspaper libraries weeded their morgues from time to time to remove images that were judged to have lost their news value.

If a print was used in the newspaper, it usually bears a pasted-down clipping of the published image with its caption and a stamped date on its back. Most prints include at least the name of the subject and a stamped date indicating when it was deposited in the morgue. Most of the prints appear to be from wire services like the Associated Press or International News. These are identified with the wire service name and usually include a supplied caption either printed as part of the print, or pasted or paper clipped to the print. The remainder of the photographs were either supplied by individuals for the paper's society pages or are publicity photos from a variety of sources, but most frequently from public relations firms, the military, and movie studios. The publicity photographs usually have a caption and source information on the back. There do not appear to be a large number of photos taken by Examiner staff photographers, although there are some scattered throughout the files. The prints in this collection formed the active working files for the editors, writers and photographers of the Examiner. They were used repeatedly (and some, frequently) over an extended period and show signs of use, including bending, creasing, tearing, marking, poor photographic fixing, deterioration, and the advanced wear-and-tear of multiple uses. Many of the prints show permanent evidence of their use such as crop marks, retouching by highlighting or shading, and manipulation of the image by physically moving elements of it around. These marks cannot be removed as they are an integral part of the record of a working newspaper morgue and have been preserved as part of the history of the morgue.

The Portrait files consist of both formal portraits and snapshots of people. Prominent Californians and Los Angelenos, as well as most historical figures from the 1930s to the late 1950s are represented. However, the Examiner also maintained a separate morgue called the Closet File, which included the prints of many famous people and was not included in the donation USC received. The Portrait files are arranged in the original order in which they were received from the Los Angeles Examiner, which is loosely in alphabetical order by surname. Many of the files contain alphabetical ranges of surnames, but those people who were more important or frequently used, or who had a large quantity of prints, received their own files. However, the range files and the individual files are not mutually exclusive, and it is a good idea to look in the range files even if the person has his or her own file(s). As was prevalent at the time these files were created, women were generally referred to by their husbands' names. The Examiner staff often (but not always) labeled a woman's file under her husband's name modified by "Mrs." Researchers should also look up alternate spellings, pseudonyms, and maiden and married names.


  • 1903 - 1961
  • Majority of material found within 1930 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to reproduce or license these images must be submitted in writing to the Regional History Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Historical note

The Los Angeles Examiner was founded in December 1903 by William Randolph Hearst. A morning paper, it printed its last issue on January 7, 1962. The paper closed at the same time as the Times-Mirror afternoon paper the Los Angeles Mirror. These closures left the Los Angeles Times as the only significant morning newspaper in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Evening Herald & Express, another Hearst paper, as the only significant afternoon paper. After its closure, the Examiner was absorbed by the Herald & Express, which was renamed the Herald-Examiner. The Examiner was a right-leaning paper and published as a broadsheet. At the time of its closure, the paper had a daily circulation of about 380,000 and a Sunday circulation of about 700,000. The closure of the paper at the same time as that of the Los Angeles Mirror caused the Department of Justice to open an informal restraint-of-trade investigation into possible collusion between the Hearst and Times-Mirror companies.


833.75 Linear Feet (1997 boxes)

Language of Materials



This finding aid is for letters N-Z of portrait files of the Los Angeles Examiner photograph and clippings morgue. The finding aid for letters A-F is available at The finding aid for letters G-M is available at


The photographic and clippings morgue of the Hearst newspaper, the Los Angeles Examiner, consists of the photographic print and negative files--along with clippings files--maintained by the newspaper from its inception in 1903 until its closing in 1962. It contains approximately 1.4 million prints and negatives. The collection is divided into multiple parts: 7000.1--Portrait files; 7000.2--Subject files; 7000.3--Oversize prints; 7000.4--Subject clippings; and 7000.5--Biographical clippings. Each part of the collection is then divided into 26 series, one for each letter of the alphabet, with the exception of the 7000.3 set, which is divided into 2 series -- Oversize Portrait Files and Oversize Subject Files, with subseries for each letter of the alphabet.

Processing Note

Boxes 1480, 1717 and 1857 do not exist.

While processing this collection, the Examiner's original folder titles were maintained whenever possible. However, due to inconsistencies present in the original folder titles (including spelling, punctuation and abbreviations) some formatting changes were made to the folder titles as written in the finding aid to facilitate discovery. The original folder titles, including the Examiner's idiosyncratic punctuation, are maintained on physical folders. Royalty are generally filed under the name of their country; other nobility could be filed under either their surname or the name of their title. Please keep in mind that the file titles reflect the time in which they were written and the Examiner's use of the prints within. Examples of corrections made to the file titles in the finding aid are:

- File titles containing abbreviations for states (e.g., Conn.) were expanded to include the full state name.

- Colons, parentheses, commas, and other forms of division between subtopics were replaced with double dashes to offset subtopics, for example Atkinson, Ted Mr. and Mrs. was changed to Atkinson, Ted -- Mr. and Mrs.

- Spaces in between initials were removed, and periods were inserted in between initials previously un-separated.

- US, USA, U. S., U. S. A., and U.S.A. were standardized as U.S.

- Misc. was written out as Miscellaneous and removed from the folders with ranges of names in them.

- Other abbreviations, such as Pres., Capt., Lieut., Rev., and Gen. were also spelled out.

- Nicknames were put in quotation marks.

- Commonly abbreviated names like "Wm.", "Geo." and "Chas." have been written out as "William," "George," and "Charles."

Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner photographs, negatives and clippings--portrait files (N-Z)
Rebecca Hirsch. Data entry done by Nikita Lamba, Siria Meza, Stephen Siegel, Brian Whitaker, Vivian Yan and Lindsey Zea
2012 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States