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Museum Puts Historic Photos Online

Dateline 3-2020

The Museum of Ventura County Research Library houses over 150,000 resources pertaining to the history of Ventura County and its outlying regions. The collection spans the Chumash Indians, the Mission and Rancho periods, early settlement, commercialization, industrialization, to present times.

In December 2019, the Library received a grant from California Revealed to digitize a portion of its historical journals, making them accessible online to the greater California research community and the world. The Library is happy to announce that over 500 photographs are now available online at and, through the work of volunteers, that number is growing every week.


James Crothers in front of Seaside Oil Company and the White Garage. c 1925

Dateline April 9

Virginia Savage McAlester, the architectural historian, author and preservationist who was a Dallas institution in her own right, died Thursday, April 9, 2020, at Baylor Hospital. She was 76. McAlester had been fighting myelofibrosis for years, a testament to a doggedness she brought to all things in her life. A petite woman with a blonde bob, she had an innate sense of propriety and a beatific smile that hinted at a heritage of Southern gentility. She appeared fragile, but her looks belied a tough constitution and intellect, qualities that together made her a successful advocate for the causes she championed.

They were many. McAlester was a founding figure behind virtually every preservation institution in her native city, including Preservation Dallas and Friends of Fair Park. The distinguished Houston architectural historian Stephen Fox called her the “Queen of Dallas Preservation.” Her dominion, in fact, extended well beyond Dallas. Her book,A Field Guide to American Houses, first published in 1984 and revised in 2015, was a landmark in itself, and has sold millions of copies, teaching Americans about their homes in clear, concise language. “Virginia McAlester tells you exactly what you need to know about your neighborhood,” architecture critic Alexandra Lange wrote in a 2019 appreciation of the book.

Thanks to Dallas Morning News By Mark Lamster

Virginia Savage McAlester environmental portrait

Virginia Savage McAlester