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Understand L.A.’s past through Times archival photos on Instagram @latimesarchives

July 4, 1929: A crowd celebrates the Fourth of July on Venice Beach
July 4, 1929: A crowd celebrates the Fourth of July on Venice Beach. This photo appeared in the July 5, 1929, Los Angeles Times.
(Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

The Los Angeles Times has a new account on Instagram dedicated to archival photos. The account — @latimesarchives — showcases decades of photos from Los Angeles, the West, and around the world. Our archival content has consistently been among the most engaging images on our main @latimes Instagram account, so we’re expanding that interest into a standalone account.

Once a day, we will share a historical image from decades of award-winning photography. Some photos will be tied to celebrated events in Hollywood, personalities, movements, and institutions. Others will simply highlight things that make L.A. unique. We’ll also utilize Instagram’s story function to tell rich, visual stories of our past.

Images from the archive include photos of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, the opening of Dodger Stadium, the aftermath of the Watts riots and more. The images take you around Southern California, including popular spots like Venice Beach, the Hollywood Bowl, and Disneyland. Times photographers have also borne witness to national events such as the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the Vietnam War protests.

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An estimated 4 million L.A. Times images dating from around 1918 to 1990 are stored at the UCLA Special Collections Library, which will be used to populate the account, along with tens of thousands of our own digitized photos, many not published or seen by the public for decades.

We continue to honor the past by using our archival content to inform current reporting, make sense of the issues facing our time and look back at watershed moments in history.

Join us by following @latimesarchives along with our other Instagram accounts, including @latimes, @latimesfood and @latimes_entertainment.

Audience engagement editor Tessa A. Bangs contributed to this story.


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