Our museums remain closed due to COVID-19. While LA County Public Health has entered Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery, allowing for the reopening of museums on June 12, our museums are still slowly welcoming back staff and are in the process of planning for new health and safety protocols in our galleries and gardens. Therefore, we will not be reopening until later in the summer. Sign up here to be the first to know when we will safely re-open to the public and in the meantime, stay connected from home.


black and white image of downtown los angeles

The History Department is committed to preservation, research, and public access that enable people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests to understand and appreciate the history and culture of California and the West, with an emphasis on Southern California.

Researchers are encouraged to use the History collections for scholarly, personal, or commercial use according to the policies and procedures for each of the collection areas listed below. 

Though the subject areas of these sections frequently overlap, the History Department collections are administered according to format:

Search our Collections

Visit collections.nhm.org to search object information and images for selected collections from the Seaver Center for Western History Research.

Collection guides, finding aids, and documentation for collections in the Seaver Center for Western History Research are also available in the Online Archive of California.


Our Staff

John M. Cahoon, M.A.
Collections Manager, History (Seaver Center for Western History Research)

John Cahoon assists visiting researchers and answers public inquiries about the center’s two-dimensional collections, which often results in publications about Los Angeles, California, and the West.

William D. Estrada, Ph.D
Curator and Chair, History

Dr. Estrada holds a Ph.D. in History from University of California, Los Angeles and is a social and cultural historian, specializing in nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Los Angeles.

Brent Riggs
Project Database Manager, History

Brent Riggs holds a B.A. in Visual Studies from the University of California, San Diego. Since 2003 he has been managing a database project to digitize and catalog the Seaver Center’s primary photographic collections.

Betty Uyeda, MLS
Collections Manager, History (Seaver Center for Western History Research)

Betty Uyeda holds a B.A. in History from California State University, Los Angeles and an M.L.S. from San Jose State University. She is on staff with the History Department's Seaver Center. 

Kim Walters
Collections Manager, History (Seaver Center for Western History Research)

Kim is part of the collections management team in the Seaver Center for Western History Research.

Beth Werling, M.A.
Collections Manager, History (Material Culture)

As Collections Manager for the History Department's Material Culture division, Beth has overall responsibility for the management of the department's wide range of three-dimensional artifacts.


For questions, please contact William Estrada at westrada@nhm.org.