Archive room provides a look back at history

Old aerial photos of the campus in the archive room in the library. The library archives houses many pieces of EC history from photos to newspaper clippings and old class catalogs. Photo credit: John Fordiani

El Camino has a rich history within the city of Torrance and inside the Schauerman Library contains a room that deals with the history of the school.

The archive room is located next to the North Reading Room in the library. Mary McMillan, the college’s public access librarian, has been at El Camino for the past year and a half, since the former public access librarian, Ed Martinez, retired in 2013 after serving the college for many years.

“The archives opened up I believe in 2012, 2013,” McMillan said.”We have a little bit of history related to Torrance and the local area.”

With an archived supply of cataloged collections such as the first El Camino newspaper the “Warhoop,” which later became “The Union” in the 1990s. Also included in the archives is copies of “Warrior Life,” El Camino’s annual general interest magazine.

Another piece of literature in the archive is the “Myriad,”El Camino’s literary arts magazine that consists of poems, short stories, and photos.

Press clippings of stories that concern El Camino and of the surrounding area are kept in the archive.

McMillan said, “I do get requests for things from the people in our community.”

The schedule for anyone to look inside the archives must be made by appointment.

“The best archivists are the ones that really know their collection, and they know what’s in there, and they can really help those researchers when they call and looking for stuff,” McMillan said.

The archive room is used for conferences and is set up with a pull-down screen and computer cables for presentations.

“The archive is here,” McMillan said. “It preserves not just the history of the college, but the history of the individuals that make up this college. It’s their history as well.”