Catherine Mulholland Collection

Documenting Water History in Los Angeles

The monumental completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913 secured the City of Los Angeles as an oasis for opportunity.  Over decades, growing populations demanded more water development to support the ever-expanding metropolis.  However, water in this arid region came with great costs, determination, contestation and labor, which sharply contrasted with the vision of prosperity it provided.  This database offers unique and diverse perspectives into the history of the municipal water system in Los Angeles during the 20th century.

The Catherine Mulholland Collection contains the office files of William Mulholland, superintendent of the Los Angeles Water Department and chief engineer of the Los Angeles aqueduct. This collection offers researchers insight into the unique history of urban development and the evolution of the municipal water system in Los Angeles. Records in the collection chronicle the roles played by politicians and local politics; private business and industry; civic organizations; and local, state, and federal governmental agencies invested in providing water to the city’s rapidly growing population. These documents illustrate the circumstances surrounding the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct system and the acquisition of water from the Owens Valley.*




Click HERE to see the Catherine Mulholland Collection Database - Hosted by CSUN Oviatt Library^





References and Credits

* California State University Northridge - Oviatt Library Digital Collection

^ Collection Sponsored by Metabolic Studios


< Back