Doheny Memorial Library, circa 1932



Doheny Memorial Library's doors first opened on September 12, 1932. A large crowd was on hand to observe the ceremony, including members of the Doheny family. University President Rufus von KleinSmid led a procession across the campus from Bovard Auditorium and opened the library doors for the first time. From that day on, Doheny Library has stood as one of the landmarks of L.A., appearing in photographs, films and television shows, its familiar facade always immediately recognizable.


In honor of Doheny Library's 65th anniversary, join us on a tour of the building, as it appeared on the day of the dedication ceremonies on September 12, 1932.



Starting the tour at the main entrance, note the huge ornamental bronze doors at the main entrance. They are eleven feet high and together are ten feet wide, larger than any previously cast on the Pacific Coast. There are twenty-one panels in each leaf, and each panel has a central rosette and ornamented border. Continue through the doors and enter the building. Begin your tour at any point:


1932 Floorplans:


Main & Second Floors

Ground Floor


Main Floor || Ground Floor || Second Floor
Exterior Art || Sources

All black and white images on these pages are used with the permission of the USC Regional History Center and University Archives. Any reproduction of these images should include credit to those sources. Special thanks to Susan K. Hikida of University Archives and Dace Taube of the Regional History Center for their assistance.