USC and Los Angeles PL Vie for Newspaper "Morgue." (University of Southern California, Los Angeles Public Library) (Los Angeles Herald Examiner Morgue)

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USC and Los Angeles PL vie for newspaper "morgue"

At the once-meeting offices of the now-defunt Los Angeles Herald Examiner, dust has settled on some 150 battered file cabinets. The files are filled with stiff brown envelopes containing the once-great Hearst newspaper's valuable "clips and pix."

Librarians at both the University of Southern California and Los Angeles Public Library hope to obtain the unique reference materials.

According to an Oct. 1 story in the Los Angeles Times, the Herald Examiner's chief operating executive John J. McCabe has said only that officials plan to give " a non-profit institution" the irreplaceable collection of 2.1 million photographs, 2.6 million clippings, 43,080 negatives, plus thousands more reference books and microfilm reels. Though the paper's farewell edition bears a Nov. 2, 1989 dateline, the Hearst Corp.'s New York office reports no recipient has yet been chosen.

Jane Nowak, manager of the Los Angeles Public Library's History and Genealogy Department, told AL LAPL hoped to use the clippings morgue to create a computer based index to the Herald Examiner. "Los Angeles is handicapped. There is no index for any major L.A. newspaper between 1945 and 1972, for example," she said. She feels the collection would greatly enhance the library's 250,000 photos that span the late 1800s to 1935. …