Welcome to the Quinn Research Center

Quinn Research Center is an educational archive that includes photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, letters and other items, collected by Dr. Alfred Quinn, a prominent educator and member of the Santa Monica community in the mid-late 20th century.

Carolyne and Bill Edwards, as the founders and stewards of the Quinn Research Center, are actively seeking recognition of Santa Monica’s lost cultural heritage, which included a once thriving community of color.

Portrait of Alfred and Sylvia Dottie Quinn.
Social outting at the Downbeat Club in Los Angeles.

QRC promotes the study and research of Black family history and culture in the Santa Monica Bay area

The Quinn Research Center is dedicated to promoting the study and research of black family history and culture in the Santa Monica Bay Area. We are an archive that collects, preserves, and makes available local history with a focus on the African diaspora in Southern California.

The Quinn Research Center also offers educational programs to increase public understanding of the historic and contemporary experiences of African Americans. Quinn provides a space for community members to come together, learn, and celebrate the contributions of black people of the Santa Monica Bay Area.

Many items from the archive are publicly available through the Santa Monica Public Library and the UCLA Digital Library.

Our Projects

The Quinn Research Center is dedicated to historical education. Learn more about our ongoing projects, which are both designed to enlighten and empower through local community knowledge.

Learn more also about our past projects and outreach initiatives, and view a collection of press links featuring the Quinn Research Center. Our goal is to continue to provide high-quality educational opportunities for everyone who is interested in learning more about Santa Monica's lost history.

Cover of Glancing Magazine, April 1952.
Terriettes Drill Team formed by Thelma Terry for Santa Monica youths.

QUINN Events

The calendar of upcoming and past events is an important part of the Quinn Research Center. Join us at public events to promote Santa Monica's history and celebrate its cultural history.

The calendar is also a great way to keep track of our progress and plan for future events.  We encourage you to stay up-to-date on all of our community activities. Thank you for supporting us as we work to preserve and celebrate Santa Monica's unique history.


The Santa Monica community has a rich history, and the Quinn Research Center is committed to preserving it. If you have photos, stories, or family memories of former businesses or establishments in the community, we would be grateful if you would share them with us. We are always looking for more materials, and our staff is available to answer any questions you may have.

Please contact us if you would like to contribute to our archive or if there is a particular topic you would like to learn more about. By working together, we can ensure that the history of Santa Monica and Venice will be remembered for generations to come.

Women at a Les Unique Social Club installation event, where newly elected club officers were sworn in.