The Pasadena Digital History Collaboration, or PDHC, is the people and institutions of Pasadena working together to bring the city’s rich history and traditions in one place, and tell the story of Pasadena to the world.
The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Service awarded a grant in 2009 to fund the esatblishment of the PDHC. The PDHC website was then launched in 2010 by three of the city’s premier historical institutions – Pasadena City College Shatford Library, Pasadena Museum of History, and Pasadena Public Library.
We have created a website for all things digital and historical about Pasadena. Photos that were once housed and viewed in separate buildings throughout the city are now available in one website – pasadenadigitalhistory.com.
On our site, you can view images of: Our world famous Rose Parade and Rose Bowl; along with the Colorado Street Bridge, Old Town, and Pasadena City Hall; natural wonders such as the Arroyo Seco or the San Gabriel Mountains; past man-made marvels like the Mount Lowe Railway, that went from Pasadena to a hotel in the mountains above the city; Dobbins Cycleway, which was an elevated bike trail linking Pasadena and Los Angeles; or Carmelita Park, now the location of the Norton Simon Museum, which you can see every New Year’s Day on television.
But our site contains more than just the collections from Pasadena’s historical institutions.
We have worked closely with volunteers in places that already have a large digital collection, but do not have the resources to catalogue and display them such as the City of Pasadena’s Planning Department. We are also interested in weaving Pasadena family histories into the digital tapestry of the PDHC, collecting photos that have been hidden in family shoeboxes or tucked away in photo albums.
The collection of the PDHC is much greater and deeper because of our outreach efforts to the community of Pasadena, resulting in photos of: the damage caused by a flood, leaving behind a debris flow in Rubio Canyon in 2004; the construction of the Pasadena Towers office complex in 1989;
a family gathering for a Thanksgiving dinner in 1935; the USC-Pitt Rose Bowl game in 1930;
visiting the newly opened Central Library in 1927; a proud florist in front of his family owned flower shop in 1926; mom in front of the family car in 1922; going for a balloon ride in 1914;
early aviation in Pasadena in 1911; or a little girl happy to have her picture being taken in 1903.
So that’s the PDHC. I hope this brief introduction has given you a glimpse of the treasures we have online.
Come visit our website at pasadenadigitalhistory.com where you can explore the world of Pasadena history right in your own home. Contact us about possibly donating your own photos to the collection,
or submit an application for becoming a partner of the PDHC.
Please join us in bringing Pasadena’s history to life.