Business Culver City Edition Lead Story Local News West Edition

County reaches agreement with Mayme Clayton Museum

CULVER CITY — Los Angeles County and the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum have reached an agreement to find a more appropriate permanent location for the museum’s important collection of rare books, films, documents, photographs, artifacts and works of art related to African-American history and culture.

The agreement will allow the museum to remain in the county-owned Culver City Courthouse through the end of July, even though the museum’s rent-free lease there expired 12 years ago. The agreement settles all legal disputes and puts both parties on the path toward achieving mutual goals.

The county also offered to provide the museum with funds for relocation assistance and could potentially provide additional financial support if the museum partners with a viable institution to house and manage the collection.

Cal State Dominguez Hills has offered to receive, catalogue and house the collection within its library.

“I’m very pleased the county and the museum’s leadership were able to come to an accord,” county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “An old courthouse is no place for archival materials of this importance and now we are all working toward the same outcome: a new home for this wonderful collection.”

The county leased the old courthouse to Culver City in 2006. Culver City then sublet the courthouse to the museum, with the understanding that the arrangement was for a year only. Until that time, the collection had been housed in a private garage.

The county has been working continually with museum officials to find a more appropriate home for the collection, and to preserve the collection for future generations. 

Mayme Clayton, a librarian, collector and historian, amassed the collection over 40 years, believing that preserving and sharing the history of Americans of African descent was imperative for current and future generations.

Wave Staff Report