COVID-19 Update: Friday, May 29, 2020

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a new "Safer at Work & in the Community" Health Order allowing for the resumption of faith-based services, in-store shopping at most retail businesses, drive-in movies and other recreational activities. (Read latest information here)

Municipal History Books

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The first section of this page lists narratives and photography books, which tell and show the story of Whittier's development from its start near the end of 19th century, up to the 1980s. This section is ordered alphabetically, by author's last name. Some of these are available for checkout; the titles with an asterisk* beside them are for library use only.

The second section of this page lists mainly city planning documents and reports, which reveal the history of Whittier via data and statistics regarding Whittier's population increases, economics, education, commerce, housing, and land use. These materials were created to plan the future of the city; now, they and other materials on this list reveal its "social history", a term defined in Merriam-Webster as "history that concentrates upon the social, economic, and cultural institutions of a people". This section is ordered chronologically, by publication date. None of the materials in this section may be checked out; they are all for library use only, as denoted by the asterisks* next to the titles.

Narratives & Photography Books

History of Whittier
Arnold, Benjamin F. & Clark, Artilissa D. 1933 393 pages 979.493 ARN
Covers the history of Whittier from 1887 to 1933. First book-length written history of the town; referenced by most subsequent books on Whittier history. Chapters written by various people. Includes photographs, table of contents, short index, appendices, and “honorable mentions” – a list of people and their occupations not detailed in this book.
Index to the History of Whittier*
Denton, Jean Van Antwerp 1987 58 pages WH 979.493 DEN
A topical and name index to Arnold & Clark’sHistory of Whittier.
Water of Gall*
Fargo, Dorothy 1955 255 pages WH F FAR
A novel about the settlement of Quakers in Whittier. From the foreword: "Of the characters in the book, the Baileys, the Coopers, the Henrys (Lou Henry later became Mrs. Herbert S. Hoover), Don Pio Pico, as well as John Painter, Hervey Lindley, Mulholland the engineer, Al Levey the restauranteur, and Behymer the impresario are real."
Old Whittier 1904
Fire Department, Whittier, California 1987 90 pages 979.493 WHI
Facsimile reprint of the “Souvenir of Whittier” published by Whittier Fire Department, January 1904. Photographs of business interiors and exteriors, residences with address and owner’s name, churches.Includes an introduction on the history of Whittier to 1904.
Whittier (Images of America)
Garabedian, Mike & Ruud, Rebecca 2016 128 pages 979.493 GAR
Covers 1887 to 1987, the first hundred years of Whittier history. Photographs drawn from Whittier Public Library, Whittier Historical Society & Museum, Whittier College, and private collections, with captions.
The Friendly Town: A Historical Pageant of the City of Whittier*
Harris, Herbert E. 1937 Unpaginated WH 812 HAR
A play about the founding of Whittier, performed in 1937 during Golden Jubilee festivities (the fifty-year anniversary of the town's founding).
Pioneer Families of Whittier
Mathony, Virginia 1998 144 pages 979.493092 MAT
Covers 31 families who arrived in Whittier between 1887 and 1900. Organized by time period and family name. Includes photographs, table of contents, index, bibliography.
Pioneer Families of Whittier II*
Mathony, Virginia 2004 191 pages WH 979.493092 MAT
Covers 22 early families of Whittier. Organized by family name. Includes photographs, table of contents, index, bibliography.
The Architecture of William H. Harrison, A.I.A.
Myers, Irving 1955 51 pages WH 720.9794
Photographs of structures designed by noted Whittier architect William H. Harrison. Interiors and exterior shots of schools, civic buildings, and residences. Includes table of contents and brief biographical sketch of the architect.
Whittier Revisited
Mathony, Virginia 1991 149 pages 979.494 MAT
Covers 1887 to 1997, the first hundred years of Whittier History. Originally appeared as a series of articles published in theWhittier Daily Newsin 1986. Includes photographs, timeline and index.
Founders and Friends
Pearce, Phyllis M., Radford, Claire G., & Rummel, Mary Ann 1977 125 pages 979.493 PEA
Covers Whittier area from late 1700s to 1915. Organized by location. Each written entry accompanied by photograph of house, park, school, or church. Includes photographs and bibliography.
Historical Volume and Reference Works V. II, Los Angeles County*
Studer, Robert Paul 1963 1,051 pages WH 979.493 STU
Covers Whittier area (including Bassett – also known as Avocado Heights, City of Industry, La Habra, La Mirada, La Puente, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Walnut, and Whittier) from the late 1700s to 1963. Loverne Morris is credited as historian. Includes photographs, detailed table of contents, and name index.
Whittier: a Picture Postcard History
Valdez, Rudy 1987 96 pages 979.493 WHI
Postcards depicting Whittier street scenes, landscapes, businesses, churches, schools, and residences. Also includes photographs. Captions detail history of structures as well as correspondence written on verso of postcards. Includes table of contents, bibliography, and photo credit list.

City Planning & Social History Books

Recreation Plan for the City of Whittier and Environs*
Unknown Author 1948 53 pages WH 790.1 WHI
Includes demographic data by school district, population trends 1910-1947, maps, and layout of proposed buildings.
Report of the Survey of Public Schools of the Whittier Area*
Melbo, Irving R. 1948 193 pages WH 379.15 MEL WHI
Includes intelligence quotient data of Whittier-area schoolchildren, organized by school.
Report on Street and Highway Element of a Master Plan, Whittier, California*
Gordon Whitall and Associates 1956 53 pages WH 711 WHI
Includes a population density map and population statistics.
Mexican Integration in the Whittier City Schools*
Bewley, Fred 1956 53 pages WHI 301.4516 BEW
Superintendent of the Whittier school district explains how racial integration was a positive step forward for Whittier; report includes population statistics and education data.
Your Neighbor Looks at Your High Schools in the Whittier Union High School District*
High School Curriculum Study Group 1957 151 pages WH 373.1 WHI
Includes education data such as drop-out statistics, enrollment figures, and curriculum planning.
The Mangore Study of East and South Whittier*
Mangore Corporation 1957 118 pages WH 711 MAN
Includes a wealth of demographic and population data, including shopping habits, family size, and attitudes toward annexation. There is also a summary report, published the same year.
This Is My Life*
Whittier-area California Retired Teachers Association* 1958 Not paginated WH 371.1 CAL
Whittier-area members of the California Retired Teachers Association wrote about their careers and lives.
Report of the Survey: Whittier Union High School District*
Melbo, Irving R. 1959 537 pages WH 379.15
Includes detailed information on characteristics of the student population of Whittier Union High School District.
Real Estate Research Corporation Economic Base Study*
Simon Eisner and Associates 1962 102 pages WH 711 REA
Includes detailed information on population growth and housing.
Library Services*
League of Women Voters of Whittier 1962 21 pages WH 027.0949 LEA
Includes information on the Whittier Public Library's history, budget, and base for services, with comparisons to the Santa Fe Springs Public Library and the Los Angeles County Public Library, as well as comparisons to local school libraries.
Master Plan for the Whittier Public Library*
Whittier Public Library Staff 1962 31 pages WH 027.0949 WHI
Includes detailed quantitative data on library collections, as well as projected population data of Whittier Public Library users.
City of Whittier, California General Plan*
Simon Eisner and Associates 1963 56 pages WH 711 WHI
Includes population and land use data, with maps.
Whittier Area Public Library - School Library Study*
Whittier Area Library Study Committee 1965 116 pages WH 027.4 WHI
Students, teachers, library supervisors, school librarians, public librarians, parents, and citizens were surveyed regarding library resources and needs. Includes local library statistics, compared with national statistics collected by the American Library Association.
Eastland Manpower Report*
Community and Human Resources Agency, Eastland Manpower Report Project 1968 233 pages WH 331.09794 COM
The Eastland Community Action Council territory consisted of over 80 square miles of land in southeast Los Angeles County, including East L.A., Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Los Nietos, Whittier, South Whittier, La Habra Heights, and La Mirada. This report includes information on those areas regarding demographics, housing, income, education, job availability, and city planning. Of particular interest may be a section called "Median Income and the Mini-Barrios of Whittier".
Master Plan for Savage Canyon*
City of Whittier 1969 34 pages WH 628.445 RAL
Includes population projections by decade, from 1970 to 2010, and a map of Savage Canyon..
Americans by Destiny*
Singer, Richard 1973 61 pages WH 301.451 SIN
This is a series of 37 articles published in the Whittier Daily News in 1972 and 1973 "examining the lives of the Mexican-American population of the Whittier area," written by Richard Singer of the Whittier Daily News staff. It covers the history of this population, as well as stories covering its problems, successes, and hopes for the future. (Text taken from title page.)
Profiles of Change: Whittier, California. Four volumes. (I) Map Series by Census Tract; (II) Small-Area Profiles and Rank Order Report by Census Tract; (III) Management Reports by Census Tract; (IV) User's Guide to the Profiles of Change Urban Information Package*
R.L. Polk & Co. 1973 Various paginations WH 317.9493 POL V. I, II, III, IV
Includes maps, neighborhood characteristics, population data compared to that of the 1970 census, and 21 statistical tables on various aspects of the community.
Draft Environmental Impact Report on the Proposed Extension of Mission Mill Road*
Whittier City School District 1975 Various pagings WH 333.7 WHI
Includes information on the environmental setting, biotic setting, human and economic factors, and governmental services and utilities near the proposed extension of Mission Mill Road from Workman Mill Road toward Spyglass. Includes maps, sketches, and aerial photographs.
Final supplemental environmental impact report for the Greenleaf Avenue-Uptown Whittier redevelopment project*
Willdan Associates 1989 Various pagings WH 333.7 WHI
Includes information on land use, traffic, air quality, noise, utilities, aesthetics, cultural resources, energy, and seismicity..
Report of the Homeless Ad Hoc Committee*
Whittier, California Homelessness Ad Hoc Committee 1989 Various pagings WH 362.5 WHI
Includes homeless population statistics, with recommendations for funding, programming, housing, and advocacy.
Temporary Sheltering After the Whittier Narrows Earthquake*
Bolin, Robert 1989 181 pages 363.3495 BOL
Includes quantitative and qualitative data on people whose housing was affected by the Whittier Narrows Earthquake.
Economic Development Initiatives for the City of Whittier*
University of Southern California Economic Development Lab Team 1997 46 pages WH 352.942 UNI
Includes information on the "biomedical cluster" at Five Points, Whittier Boulevard districts, adaptive reuse of industrial space, and socio-demographic change.
Whittier Greenway Trail Initial Study*
Blodgett Baylosis Associates 2001 Various pagings WH 333.78 WHI
Includes population and business data on people living near the planned Whittier Greenway Trail.

*Library use only.