Local historians Paul de Falla and William Mason understood that while there were historical societies devoted to specific areas and neighborhoods in Los Angeles, as well as a long established historical society for the Southern California region, there was no organization devoted primarily to the preservation of the history of the original City of Los Angeles and the education of its people. They established, with the help of their long-time friend, Dr. Atilio Parisi, a non-profit organization which was incorporated in the State of California on October 25, 1976.
In the late 90s, the City Council named the Society as the official Friends of the City Archives. The purpose of this relationship is to assist the City Clerk, Records Management Division, in preserving and safeguarding the records which document the City's operations and history.
In 1996, the Society published Los Angeles and Its Environs in the Twentieth Century: A Bibliography of a Metropolis 1970-1990, with a Directory of Resources in Los Angeles County, which was compiled by Board member and past president Hynda Rudd, with a foreword by honorary lifetime member Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
This year, the Society, with the support of the John Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, is completing the publication of a two-volume study, The Development of Los Angeles City Government: An Institutional Memory, 1850-2000. LACHS, again with the support from the John Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, is sponsoring an historical study by member Anna Sklar of the City's sewerage system.