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The Launer Room

The Launer Room is a repository for materials on Fullerton and the surrounding cities as they relate to Fullerton and Orange County. Emphasis is on the early history and development of Fullerton. At the present time none of the Launer Room materials are available online. However, this is a project that we continue to explore and anticipate.

The Launer Memorial Local History Room was established in 1973 when Fullerton's current library building was opened. Lulu Convis Launer, in honor of her husband Albert Launer, donated funds for creating and organizing the room. The City of Fullerton and the Friends of the Fullerton Public Library support the room.

Launer Biography

[albert launer]
Albert Launer, second from the left

Albert Launer was a 1909 graduate of Fullerton High School and graduated from USC law school in 1914. He married Lulu in 1915 eventually settling and practicing law in Fullerton. Mr. Launer served as city attorney for Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, and Placentia. For two terms he served as trustee for the Fullerton Union High School and Junior College district. He also served as president of the Orange County bar Association in 1931 and later as vice-president and as governor of the California State Bar Association. He was the first president of the Fullerton Kiwanis Club and a lifelong member. He and his family were also lifetime members of the Fullerton Methodist Church.

Albert Launer was a member of the Masonic Lodge and Knights Templer. His services, contributions and leadership constantly supported the YWCA, YMCA, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Save the Redwoods League, the Audubon Society, and many other worthwhile activities. Mr. Launer died in December of 1972.

[carnegie library]
Fullerton's Carnegie Library, Circa 1920'S

Hours & Location

The Launer Local History Room is open Monday through Thursday 2-5 p.m. or by appointment. Please call 714-738-6342. The room is located on the fourth floor (mezzanine level) of Fullerton's main library.


The Launer Room collection houses the index to the Fullerton News Tribune and covers the years 1893-1984. The index is accessible only during the Launer Room hours of 2-5 Monday through Thursday, or by appointment.

FULLERTON NEWS TRIBUNE The microfilm is located at the Fullerton Public Library's periodical desk and is available during regular library hours.

FULLERTON OBSERVER The Launer Room has a complete run of the Fullerton Observer, generously donated by the Kennedy Family. In addition to the Launer Room copies of the Fullerton Observer, there are copies in the Library's periodical collection and are available during regular library hours.

[tribune building] [ralph kennedy]
ABOVE: Tribune Building, circa 1890. Located at the 100 block of W. Commonwealth Avenue.
RIGHT: Ralph Kennedy (1924-1998), local humanitarian and founding editor of the Fullerton Observer.

[map of fullerton townsite, 1887]

The map collection includes a map of the original townsite, various early maps of Fullerton, and limited aerial maps. We also have Original Townsite facsimile Sanborn fire maps, for the years 1890, 1894, 1900, 1907, 1911, 1917 and 1927. The library does not have photocopying privileges for the Sanborn maps.

[aerial view]

Photograph taken from about the corner of Malden and Commonwealth looking east. You can see Plummer Auditorium, the Chapman Building and the tents replacing Chapman School that were used temporarily after the Long Beach Quake of 1933.


The photograph collection contains 2000 predominately B&W 8X10 photos. Our photography regulations and photography borrowing policy are below.

In addition to our photograph collection, the Launer Room houses 3200 negatives and proofs from the city's 1978 architectural building survey of buildings constructed before 1940.


  1. Persons making photographs of pictures in the Collection for any purpose must submit the APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO PHOTOGRAPH LOCAL HISTORY MATERIALS. An authorized member of the Library staff must approve this application. A fee may be charged by the Library.
  2. Photographs taken for any commercial use, such as publication in books, magazines, or in separate print form, including wall decoration for a business establishment, must have the approval of the City Librarian. The photographer, or publisher, must explain fully the intended use of the photographs and certify on the application that said photographs are solely for the use intended and that no secondary utilization in any other form, or by any other business, is intended.
    1. The only exception to the above regulation is photography by local newspapers or magazines for publicity purposes or to illustrate feature articles.
  3. The Library reserves the right to determine the limitations of distance, brilliance and duration of lighting for photography of Library materials, due to the injurious effect which light and heat have on some materials.
  4. Permission for commercial publication requires the following conformance to Library policy:
    1. Credit must be given to the Fullerton Public Library
    2. If the reproduction is to be used in advertising, approval must be obtained from the City Librarian on the manner in which the reproduction will be used as well as the copy which will accompany it.
  5. Under no circumstances will the Library give permission to distributors of photographs who do not publish themselves but sell photographs of pictures to publishers. The Library reserves the right to deal directly with any of the controls which it exercises over the proper reproduction of its Local History Materials.

Borrowing policy. Patrons may borrow negatives or photographs, with some restrictions, from the collection by leaving a $20.00 deposit in check form made out to the Fullerton Public Library for each item borrowed. The check out period is one week and the check is returned upon the return of the borrowed items.

[a small house built in 57 hours, 57 minutes in 1950]


The clippings collection consists of approximately 50,000 newspaper clippings in 500 subject areas dealing with Fullerton and Orange County.

The ephemera file (defined as items originally intended to be of temporary interest and value) houses items such as printed programs, pamphlets, brochures and organizational reports.


The Launer Room book collection consists of 1300 books dealing with Fullerton, Orange County, and California History. The books in the Launer Room do not circulate and must be used in the Launer Room. The books are catalogued and can be found in our online catalog.

The history room also has Haines Criss/Cross directories for the entire County of Orange from 1971 to the present. The criss/cross city directories for Fullerton start about 1900, however there are gaps in the collection.

McColl Superfund Site

The McColl superfund site documents and clippings are now located in the local history collection. In addition there are 28 microfilm rolls of McColl superfund documents located in the library's periodical collection. The microfilm collection is available during regular library hours. These materials do not circulate and are never interlibrary loaned.

Contact Us

Fullerton Public Library
Launer Local History Room
353 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, Ca. 92835
Cathy Thomas, Curator

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