Collection Facts

Extent: 
50 items

Historical Context

The collection contains images from the 19th and 20th Centuries showing historic views of Forest Lawn. These images are digitized from original glass plate negatives, photographic prints, lithographic drawings, stereoscopic views and commercial postcards. The earliest images of Forest Lawn document newly erected family lots and were intended to help illustrate the beauty of the landscape as well as drive sales in an era when buying pre-need burial space was a foreign concept. Glass plate negatives come from the McDonnell & Sons Monument Company and show the construction and completion of many monuments found throughout the grounds. Later photographs come from various commercial photographers and from the Papers of Vernon L. Thompson collection. Vernon L. Thompson was the Vice President of Forest Lawn in the mid-20th Century and his meticulous record keeping produced a wealth of documentary evidence of the daily course of business. Postcards were commercially produced images which were largely sold as souvenirs. The golden era for postcards seems to have been from the Turn of the Century to around WWI and typically featured picturesque scenes and architectural landmarks.

Scope of Collection