Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Malibu History: Primary Sources

Primary Sources at Pepperdine

 Malibu Tiles: 

  • The Malibu Tiles Collection contains tiles from Malibu Potteries, a historic Malibu ceramic company which operated in the early 20th century. Malibu Potteries, owned by May Knight Rindge, produced tiles and ceramic pieces heavily inspired by Moorish, Mayan, Spanish, and Saracen cultures, featuring Art Deco influences. Despite their brief production run, they played an influential role in local architecture, and can still be viewed in various public locations throughout Malibu and greater Los Angeles. This collection contains a portion of the original tiles produced.

  • Link to Digital Collection. 

Pepperdine University Archaeological Survey and Excavation Collection:

  • Before Pepperdine University existed, the Chumash Native Americans inhabited what is modern day Malibu. Their invention and use of the plank canoe (tomol), their beautifully crafted baskets, tools and bead making, and their customs/beliefs are what make the Chumash unique.The Chumash are still present and thriving today in Southern California. In 1970, UCLA Archaeologist John Beaton and his team surveyed the site that would become Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. They excavated a rock shelter at Winter Canyon that uncovered 597 artifacts which were catalogued and returned to Pepperdine in 1971. The collection includes memoranda, correspondence, and notes regarding the excavation, as well as some of the artifacts discovered. The discovered artifacts are believe to be from the 13th century and related to the Chumash, the first inhabitants of Malibu.
  • Link to Archival Finding Aid

Rindge and Adamson Family Papers: 

  • The Rindge and Adamson family have a long history in Malibu, California, dating back to 1892 when Frederick and May K. Rindge purchased the 13,300-acre Spanish land grant, Rancho Topanga Malibu Sequit, also known as Malibu Rancho, from Matthew Keller. In 1915, their daughter, Rhoda Agatha, married Merritt Adamson, the superintendent of the ranch, and together, they helped manage the family business. The collection contains correspondence, business papers, financial records, photographs, newspaper clipping, and ephemera from the various family members and spans from 1891 to 1967.

  • Link to Archival Finding Aid. 

Malibu Historical Photographs Collection: 

  • The Malibu Historical Photograph Collection includes a selection of images from Malibu's fascinating history, drawn from various collections in the Special Collections and University Archives department of Pepperdine University Libraries. As a component of the larger Malibu Historical Collection, this digital collection is designed to increase discovery of and access to the visual history of the City of Malibu and its residents.

  • Link to Digital Collection. 

Lani Netter Collection of Malibu Photographs:

  • The collection comprises the photographs of a "then and now" style photo album of Malibu, California, compiled by longtime Malibu resident Lani Netter in 1974. Content includes historical prints, ranging from 1890 to 1958, and Netter's own photographs from 1974 (bulk) and about 1990, which together depict various people, events, and locations from Malibu's history.

  • Link to Archival Finding Aid.

  • Link to Digital Collection.

The Eric Wienberg Collection of Malibu Matchbooks, Postcards, and Collectables: 

  • The Eric Wienberg Collection of Malibu Matchbooks, Postcards, and Ephemera chronicles the history of business establishments and sites in Malibu and the surrounding area. The collection covers a period between the late 19th century and the 1980s, and features matchbook covers, postcards, publications, and ephemera from restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, motels, stores, and other businesses from Malibu, Topanga, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice Beach and Catalina Island. The collection also includes publicity photographs, photojournalistic images, and candid snapshots from life in Malibu and Southern California.

  • Link to Archival Finding Aid.

  • Link to Digital Collection. 

Malibu Times Photographs:

  • The collection consists of photographs and negatives from the Malibu Times ranging from 1946 to 2010. There is also a file called Canyon and Country Times which includes photographs that were published within the short-lived newspaper by the same name, throughout the early 1990s. The papers were both owned by Arnold and Karen York.

  • Link to Archival Finding Aid.

  • Link to Digital Collection. 

John Mazza Collection of Historic Surfboards: 

  • The Historic Surfboard Collection includes over thirty surfboards from the personal collection of John Mazza, surfing aficionado and local Malibu resident. The boards, on permanent loan to Pepperdine University, represent the evolution of surfing and surfboard technology in the twentieth century with examples ranging from the 1910s to the 1980s. With each board photographed from multiple perspectives, this digital collection reveals the art and ingenuity of surfboard shapers and contextualizes the boards as cultural objects with an important place in popular culture and local history. The surfboards are a part of Pepperdine University Special Collections and University Archives' Malibu Historical Collection.

  • Link to Digital Collection. 

Malibu Disasters Digital Collection:

  • Various environmental factors present in Malibu—such as seasonal winds, a dry climate, and geologically unstable terrain—result in a predisposition towards natural disasters. This collection contains photographs related to natural disasters that occurred on Pepperdine University's campus or in the surrounding Malibu area from 1983 to 2007.  These events include several fires as well as an earthquake, storms, and flooding.  Photographs feature fires and firefighting, evacuees sheltering in place on Pepperdine's campus, burn scars from fires, and benefits for these disasters.

  • Link to Digital Collection.

Charles Marowitz Collection of the Malibu State Company: 

  • The collection includes Marowitz's files from the time he served as Artistic Director of the Malibu Stage Company from 1990 to 2002. Details of the company's stage productions, actors' resumes, script revisions, costume designs, donation lists, and correspondence are included.

  • Link to Archival Finding Aid. 

Malibu Tiles Collection

Saracenic Floor Tile with Blue and Orange Flowers

Eric Wienberg Collection of Malibu Matchbooks, Postcards, and Ephemera

John Mazza Historic Surfboard Collection

Lani Netter Collection of Malibu Photographs

Local Southern California Newspapers

Malibu Times (1946-Present)

Special Collections and University Archives at Pepperdine has a full run of the Malibu Times in print, from 1946 to the present. You can search/browse issues between 1946-2014 on the Malibu Times Digital Collection page. The more recent issues of the Malibu Times can be searched on their archives web page, using the advanced search.

Malibu Surfside News (1973-Present)

Special Collections and University Archives has a full run of the Malibu Surfside News.

Los Angeles Times (1881-1990)

Every issue of the Los Angeles Times from 1881-1990.

Los Angeles Times (1985-Current Date)

Indexing and full-text access to the Los Angeles Times including extensive coverage of national, international and local news.

Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005)

Includes full-text of the Los Angeles Sentinel, a historical Black newspaper.