About the Marie Northrop Lecture Series

In 1992, the Los Angeles City Historical Society president Patricia Bowie and board member Michael Engh, reflected on how the LACHS could promote greater interest in Los Angeles history among its members and the general public. The two – both professors of history at Loyola Marymount University – decided on an annual program of three lectures to be delivered by established writers, historians, and educators.

LACHS decided to name the lecture series in memory of Marie Northrop, a longtime member of LACHS and widely respected genealogist who had specialized in tracing the lineage of early settlers of the original El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles.

Fr. Engh organized the early lectures, which were held on the Loyola Marymount campus. Jane Nowak, then manager of the Los Angeles Central Library's Department of History and Genealogy and a LACHS board member, continued the program when Fr. Engh's role at the university expanded. The lectures moved to the library's Mark Taper Auditorium at this time, where they've taken place ever since. In 1995, another LACHS board member and past-President, Irene Tresun, took the reins and has kept the Northrop Lecture Series a vital educational event.

Since its beginning, longtime LACHS board member Raymund Wood and his wife Margaret supported the lecture series through an annual donation. After Ray's death, Margaret Wood continued to honor that commitment. Since then, other members' contributions have helped to sustain this signature program.

Over the years, the Northrop series has grown to include presentations by a wide range of experts on diverse aspects of Los Angeles's past and present, including politics and government, geography and natural environment, transportation and infrastructure, architecture and preservation, and different forms of popular culture. Throughout tha time, dedicated LACHS members have devoted much time and effort to planning the series. Notably, the L.A. Public Library has been an outstanding and supportive partner, continuing to provide both a wonderful venue and helpful staff to make sure all goes smoothly, year in and year out.

The Los Angeles City Historical Society wishes to thank all of the people who have made the Marie Northrop Lecture Series into a valuable community institution.

See our Calendar page for recent and/or upcoming lectures.