USGS has created an online Historical Topographic Map Collection for older topographic map series (1:24k; 1:62.5k, 1:125k).
Chico State's Merriam Library Special Collections has digitized and made freely viewable hundreds of historic USGS Topographic Quadrangles of California. You can search by quadrangle name, locale, or geographic name. California Historic Topographic Map Collection
Below is a section of one of the earliest topographic quadrangles of the Long Beach area. This is the Downey 1899 Quadrangle. Note the enormous wetlands surrounding Long Beach! View this this map
This guide is designed to provide a introduction for finding maps and geographic information services (GIS) using a variety of research tools, either those which CSULB provides, or that are freely available on the Internet.
The National Map "is a collaborative effort among the USGS and other Federal, State, and local partners to improve and deliver topographic information for the Nation... The geographic information available from The National Map includes orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures, and land cover."
Go to The National Map