The "Dick" Whittington Studio was the largest and finest photography studio in the Los Angeles area from 1924 to 1987. Specializing in commercial photography, the Whittington Studio took photographs for nearly every major business and organization in Los Angeles; in so doing, they documented the growth and commercial development of Los Angeles. Clients included Max Factor, the Broadway, Bullock's, and May Co. department stores, the California Fruit Growers Association, Signal Oil, Shell Oil, Union Oil, Van de Kamp's bakeries, Forest Lawn, Sparkletts Water, CBS, Don Lee Television, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, real estate developers, construction companies, automobile, aircraft, and railroad companies, and drive-in theaters. Another notable client was the University of Southern California, which contracted with the Whittington Studios for coverage of athletic and other events. The collection consists primarily of roughly 500,000 negatives; the rest are photoprints.
The collection is only partially digitized, but thanks to the generous help of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the USC Libraries has digitized 76,645 at-risk negatives in obsolete formats from the 1920s to 1940s.