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Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner photographs, negatives and clippings--subject photographs

Identifier: 7000-2

Scope and Content

7000.2--Subject photographs consists of over 9,000 file folders of photographic prints and includes the paper's geographic files. The bulk of the subject files photographs are 8x10 or 7x9 gelatin silver prints, 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, as are some ephemera and publications. 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. There are some photos taken by Examiner staff photographers are scattered throughout the files, but most of the prints are publicity photos or from wire services like the Associated Press or International News. The wire service photos 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 publicity photographs are from a variety of sources, but most frequently from public relations firms, corporations, the government and the military. The publicity photographs usually have a caption and source information on the back.

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 integral part of the record of a working newspaper morgue and have been preserved as part of the history of the morgue.

The subject files consist of both formal portraits and snapshots of events, places and things. Subjects heavily represented include the automotive and aviation industries, maps, the Korean War, the space program and the Armed Forces. However, the Examiner also maintained a separate morgue called the Tower, which was not included in the donation USC received. The subject files are mostly arranged in the original alphabetical order in which they were received from the Los Angeles Examiner. Most of the files contain prints related to a specific subject, although there are some files consisting of a range of terms.


  • 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 &amp 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.


232 Linear Feet (556 boxes)

Language of Materials



This finding aid is for the subject files of the Los Angeles Examiner photograph and clippings morgue.


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

While processing this collection, the Examiner's original folder titles were maintained whenever possible. However, some of the files had been reorganized, combined or divided by the Regional History librarian prior to processing and no longer bear their original folder titles and are no longer in the order established by the Examiner. Due to inconsistencies present in the original folder titles (including as regards 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 most physical folders (except for the ones changed by the Regional History Librarian). 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 are 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.

-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 the alphabet in them.

Finding aid for the Hearst Corporation Los Angeles Examiner photographs, negatives and clippings - subject photographs
Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Hirsch. Data entry done by Tiffany Chu, Stephen Siegel, James Violette, Vivian Yan and Lindsay 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