Archives & Special Collections student assistants work with some of the most rare and unique materials on LMU’s campus. From Their Perspective: Student Assistant Discoveries in A&SC, a 2013 exhibit curated by the students themselves, featured some of these objects and why the students found them interesting, compelling or, simply, fun. This is the third of four installments, with some selections by Dunya Osman, Matt Steelman and Alvaro Gonzalez:
“John Locke, known as the father of classical liberalism, was an English philosopher best known for his work concerning political philosophy. Locke’s perspective of social contract theory greatly differs from Hobbes, an English philosopher also noted for his work on the social contract theory prior to Locke’s. I chose this piece because I believe it is a great signifier of the types of thinkers whom philosophy majors’ study at LMU. As a philosophy major, I find that Locke’s works on political philosophy are still very powerful and relevant in our society today. In this section of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke is optimistic about our capacity to known of the existence of things.
Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher who is best known today for his work on political philosophy and his perspective of the social contract theory. His book Leviathan argues that establishing a commonwealth through social contract will best bring about civil peace and social unity. As a philosophy major, I chose Hobbes’ work to show the different views Locke and Hobbes held on the social contract. By studying a variety of works, philosophers are best able to formulate their own viewpoints, cultivate political thought, and
inspire inquisitive conversations.”
Business Major Matt Steelman focused on his interest in California history, choosing a series of images from A&SC Views of California Collection:
“I chose these pieces because I’m very interested in the history of Southern California, and have found that while it’s easy to find California’s rich history online, many of the early pictures of Southern California are hard to come by. I thought it would be important to share some of these articles of how Los Angeles and Southern California changed from a region dotted with shanty pueblos and mud huts to one of the most sought after and coveted residential areas in America.”
One of the images Matt chose depicts a the Mexican-American War:
“This historic battle was fought in 1849 during the Mexican-American War. Six hundred American soldiers, along with other volunteer hunters and trappers, marched 150 miles through the mountains, facing constant attacks from Mexican troops and Native American tribes. Despite these attacks, the soldiers pressed on, determined to occupy pueblo Los Angeles. The Americans forded Rio San Gabriel, located just ten miles south of present day Downtown Los Angeles, and were met with heavy opposition by the Mexican army. Severely exhausted, the Americans put themselves in a “hollow square” by surrounding their cattle, baggage, and horses to protect their supplies. The Mexicans were unsuccessful in suppressing the Americans, and were forced to retreat. This battle was a huge victory for the Americans and they continued their journey towards Pueblo Los Angeles the next day”
Economics & Chicano Studies Major Alvaro Gonzalez made discoveries both large and small. His passion for Chicano Studies and the Chicano community can be seen in his selection of University Archives documentaiton concerning LMU’s Chicano Studies Department history and LMU’s connection to La Causa Youth Center:
“The Chicana/o Studies department at LMU has not always been around. The struggle for the department that we have today was not an easy one. The United Mexican-American Students (UMAS) of LMU, a precursor to MEChA, drafted the proposal. The frustration at the lack of a Chicana/o Studies department on campus is seen through the very strong word choices in the proposal. As a Chicano Studies major I feel it is important not to forget the struggles others went through when they put into place the Chicana/o Studies department, which can be taken for granted today.”
“The La Causa Youth Center was established in the year 1969 in the Venice State Service Center. The La Causa Center sought to ‘…develop the language and study skills of Mexican-American young people between the ages of
thirteen and twenty… [and] To provide cultural enrichment based on
Mexican-American literature and history with the use of relevant books, films,
“Clocking in at a whopping 47 mm tall, Bird Stories (1863) is the smallest book in Special Collections. You may be asking yourself, ‘Is this a book for ants?1′ No it is not! The font is perfectly legible in spite of the tiny size.