Thelner and Louise Hoover Collection


A finding aid to the Hoover Collection is available in the On-line Archive of California

Thelner Barton Hoover attended UCLA from 1927 to 1930. During that time, he was both the official photographer for several university publications, and an unoffical chronicler of numerous campus events. His images of the UCLA buildings and academic community, which number almost 1,600, and were taken over a period of more than 50 years, provide an exceptionally thorough pictorial history of the UCLA Westwood campus.

Hoover was the official student photographer for the "The Southern Campus" yearbook, the Daily Bruin (student newspaper) and the Athletic News Bureau. As a student, he financed and co-produced with Bud Graybill, a 35mm film entitled "The Bruin Review," which featured the move from the Vermont campus to Westwood. Hoover made films of UCLA football games, and began a series of aerial photographs of the campus and the surrounding community in 1929. He continued to document UCLA after his graduation and marriage to Louise Brown, also a UCLA graduate, who became a prominent member of the Alumnae Association.

In 1938, Hoover became manager of the Westwood Village Studio, a photography studio specializing in portraits. He was the official photographer for the Southern California Tennis Association from 1929 until 1942. He photographed many events and VIPs at many of the Westside country clubs and hotels, particularly the Beverly Wilshire. He photographed the Las Floristas Headress Ball, national conventions of the Delta Zeta, Pi Beta Pi and Alpha Chi Delta sororities. His photographs were published in many national magazines including color covers of "Sunset Magazine" and the "Los Angeles Times Home Magazine". Hoover was a photography instructor for UCLA Extension Division for 20 years. He opened the Department of Journalism at Pasadena City College and taught Pictorial Journalism there for four years.

UCLA Images

The UCLA collection of photographs ranges from the State Normal School in 1925 through the Alumni Association Awards in 1982. Thelner documented the history of UCLA beginning with the Vermont Avenue Campus in 1927; the Westwood campus groundbreaking ceremony in 1927; photographs of book illustrations of the Italian buildings which inspired the architecture of Royce Hall and the Powell Library building; the construction of Royce Hall, the Powell Library building and Kinsey Hall (the Physics building); the UCLA Band in 1928; models of the earliest buildings, Chemistry, Haines, Moore and others; and the moving days to the Westwood campus. There are only portions or strips of his film "The Bruin Review" identified in the collection. Highlights of the collection include the photographs of Royce Hall and the Powell Library Building construction. There are 1929 glass negatives of the Powell Library Building, UCLA's 1st registration; and two autochromes, one of Haines Hall and the other of Louise Brown. Thelner began a series of aerial photographs of the UCLA campus and surrounding area of Westwood in 1929. He photographed the campus from the air again in January and April 1930, in 1936 (from the Goodyear Blimp), 1938 and 1952. The collection contains photographs of the dedication of his aerial mural which was hung in the UCLA Ackerman Student Union Westwood Room in 1962 and was moved to the University Religious Conference Building. Thelner recorded the dedication of UCLA on March 26, 1930. The collection contains over sixty negatives and prints of this ceremony, with portraits of President Campbell, Sproul, Moore, Barrett, Hedricks, Dickson, Dodd, John Dewey, Case, Gimble and others. It also contains photographs of the Mira Hershey Hall dedication, commencement, the Bookstore and Coop, football practice, the first snowfall on campus in 1932, the Clark Library fourth Annual celebration in 1948. Other events in the collection include John Wooden's last game, the Class of 1930's 30th and 40th reunion, and the 1982 Alumni Association Awards. There are various sports photographs of basketball, track and tennis, and photographs of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity presenting UCLA Football coach Tommy Prothero with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Thelner photographed Dwight Eisenhower, Charles Young, Ralph Freud, Kenneth McGowan, Arthur Ashe, Robert B. Campbell, Edwin Pauley, Franklin Murphy and many others as yet unidentified.