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Park Central Mall Collection finds home at ASU

Park Central Mall was the first shopping mall in Phoenix, Arizona. Its current renovation has led to the discovery of materials – photographs, advertisements, microfilm reels and signage – that provide a cultural glimpse of Phoenix in the 1950s.

Those materials made their way to ASU Library this week, as part of the official transfer of archival materials to the Greater Arizona Collection, part of the library's Distinctive Collections, currently housed at the Polytechnic campus, where the Park Central Mall Collection will be processed.

 “When you trace the history of Park Central Mall, you can see how Phoenix went from being a small town to being one of the largest cities in the United States,” said Matthew Delmont, director of ASU’s School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, in a recent ASU Now article.

The collection’s curator, Renee James, was on site to welcome Delmont and receive the materials.

“We, at ASU Library, are so pleased to add the Park Central Mall Collection to Distinctive Collections, Greater Arizona Collection,” said James. “This collection documents the unique and valuable history of the Park Central Mall, and highlights its place in Phoenix history.”

The public is invited to the Phoenix Public Library at Park Central, Saturday, April 7, at 9 a.m., to share their memories of Park Central Mall. The event will be hosted by the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.