The Photography Collection has 16 available collections with over one-million images from the 1930s to the present. About 80% of the collection is produced by nine Los Angeles-based African American photographers. The African American Collection documents the social, cultural, and political aspects of African American life in post-war Los Angeles and Southern California. Presented are nationally significant themes such as racial segregation and discrimination, the civil rights movement, African American entertainment and cultural leaders, and major political and cultural events. Outside of Los Angeles is coverage of the wars in El Salvador and Honduras, the Afro-Columbian community Palenque de San Basilio (near Cartagena), Cuba, the Masai and the Maya refugee camps in Mexico. There is extensive documentation of the United Farmworkers organization and César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Gibert Padilla, Luis Valdez and other leaders of the union and its members. Also included are images of the San Fernando Valley.
Available online are the collections of Harry Adams, Guy Crowder, Charles Williams and Julián Cardona. Over the next three years the Institute will add nearly 20,000 images to the online collections of Adams, Crowder and Williams. The images contained in these collections represent an ongoing effort to digitally preserve and exhibit these important works as part of the efforts of the IAM and the Oviatt Library to support research.
The Bradley Center has over four dozen oral histories contacted from 1982 to the present. Projects include interviews with community leaders, African American civil rights leaders, journalists, photographers and United Farmworkers members. Ongoing projects include Mexican Exiles and the First Amendment, conducting interviews with Mexicans forced to flee their homes due to the economic violence, and, interviews with African American community members during the 1960s to the present.
This collection examines the issues surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico. Through photographic collections, oral histories, manuscripts, videos, newspaper archives and guest lectures issues such as immigration, human rights, globalization, and economic violence are examined. The Institute has conducted new interviews with several members from the group Meicanos en el exilio (Mexicans in Exile). Included in the Borders Studies Collection is the photography from photojournalist Julián Cardona.
California Federation of Teachers; AFT; AFL‑CIO; the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish‑Federation Council of Los Angeles; the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; United Way of Los Angeles; papers from Journalist Michael Emery and the personal papers of many of the area's leading civic leaders.