It’s been a year since my husband and I moved to Southern California, and, slowly but surely, I’m becoming familiar with the various record repositories in the area. This isn’t without effort, as Los Angeles County, with an area of 4,752 square miles and a population of 10 million, is so overwhelming that it can be hard to know where to begin! When I needed to hunt down some probate records, however, I knew that I would have to visit the Los Angeles County Archives and Records Center.
In preparation, I referred to a blog post by The SoCal Genie. I found it so helpful that I thought I would share an updated version for anyone who might be planning to visit this facility, as the official website isn’t terribly informative. The Los Angeles County Archives and Records Center is the go-to place for probate, divorce, and civil court cases more than five years old.
First, I would recommend accessing the facility via Metro, as it’s located immediately off the Civic Center/Grand Park Station on the Red Line. I would also recommend that you resign yourself to spending some quality time at the facility, which, to be honest, is not a particularly nice place to spend the day. It’s essentially an underground warehouse – think concrete floors and fluorescent lighting – in need of more than a little TLC. That said, the employees were as nice as can be, so I imagine they’re doing the best they can under the circumstances. Not all archives are created equal!
It can be difficult to find the entrance to the Archives. As you face the Civic Center from the sidewalk, look to the left until you spot the outdoor elevator structure. This will take you underground to the Archives. At the second lower level, follow the signs through the hallway, which, at least when I was there, was piled with boxes and wooden pallets and looked like a place that would be off-limits to the public. However, further down the hall, a line had formed in front of the information desk.