Department of Special Collections
Charles E. Young Research Library Special Collections

Current Exhibits | Exhibit Archive

Current Exhibits

Grow(ing) up Baby!
The UCLA Library Baby Record Books Collection

Grow(ing) Up! The UCLA Baby Record Books Collection

February - April 2014
UCLA Powell Library Rotunda

Selections from the UCLA Library’s Baby Record Books Collection are on exhibit in the UCLA Powell Library Rotunda through April, 2014.

“Grow(ing) Up!” celebrates the 10th anniversary of the collection’s founding.

Baby books contain categorized headings and spaces to guide parents to record memories about developmental milestones and activities in a child’s first few years. The memory books provide places to gather photographs, locks of hair, and other mementos.

In March, 2004, local antiquarian bookseller and UCLA alumna Barbara Rootenberg donated a copy of a London physician’s brief work from 1885, The Parents’ Medical Note-book. She asked us, “What medical information do baby books collect?” A lot, as it turns out, from physical developmental milestones to details about vaccinations, illnesses, and accidents.

No other libraries were collecting the books with vigor, so we bought a few (mostly through eBay, some at swap meets, some from booksellers) and accepted books as donations.  A decade later, we haven’t stopped, even at 1400 copies spread across more than 750 titles and editions since the 1870s.

Although our collection development strategy focuses on infant development, health, and illness, we are collecting comprehensively—every title and edition we do not have, and multiple copies of some when they are filled-out.

The books and their handwritten and pasted-in contents have been used for research and teaching in pediatrics, printing history, economic and social status, material culture, linguistics, architecture, advertising, folklore, depictions of family, and other topics and disciplines.


Oscar™ in the Archive 2.0

Now through March 2nd, 2014 in the lobby of Library Special Collections in A1713 YRL.

As part of its ongoing program of flash exhibits celebrating the Academy Awards, Library Special Collections will feature a series of two-day displays to celebrate each Oscar™ nominee for Best Picture with unique items, selected by staff, from the Department's holdings. Mini-exhibits will be on view during LSC's normal business hours, for two days only, in the department reception area so see 'em while you can!

Display Schedule

  • 2/5 - Capt. Phillips
  • 2/7 - 12 Years a Slave
  • 2/11 - Nebraska
  • 2/13 - Gravity
  • 2/17 - American Hustle
  • 2/19 - Her
  • 2/21 - Dallas Buyers Club
  • 2/25 - Philomena
  • 2/27 - Wolf of Wall Street


Aldous Huxley and the Visionary Experience

26 September 2013 – 1 January 2014 (extended to mid-February 2014)

Throughout his life, Aldous Huxley explored alternative religions, therapies, and disciplines to expand human consciousness and to unite body and spirit.  This exhibit draws upon the writings and papers of Aldous and Laura Huxley to examine his search for a universal experience beyond the language of words and the limits of physical being. From his early works to his last, Huxley’s writing reflected his willingness to study and embrace the intellectual and spiritual journeys of other cultures with an open mind and to synthesize the truths that he found there. Influenced by writer and essayist Gerald Heard, Huxley and his family (wife Maria and son Matthew) moved to Los Angeles in 1937. The society of writers, educators, and spiritual leaders was stimulating as was the clear, warm climate. He continued to explore the human potential and delved into parapsychology, mysticism, eastern religions, psychotropic drugs and other means of enlightenment.

Aldous Huxley had a long and fruitful relationship with UCLA. He was a frequent user of the UCLA library and pledged his papers to Special Collections, but most were destroyed by the 1961 Hollywood Hills fire before they could come to UCLA. UCLA’s Huxley collection was acquired over the years through gifts, purchases, and a major donation of the extant papers in 2009 through the auspices of Huxley’s second wife, Laura Archera Huxley, the Huxley Foundation, and funds provided by UCLA graduate Bill Edwards. Huxley’s circle and interests, both mystical and scientific, are reflected in this exhibit through the Aldous and Laura Huxley Papers, selected works of Aleister Crowley, Christopher Isherwood,  Krishnamurti  and others from the library’s holdings, and a variety of personal papers, including those of psychoanalyst and LSD researcher Sidney Cohen and writer and philosopher Gerald Heard.

Exhibit Archive


  • Becoming Beat and Post-Beat in L.A.: Strange Facts and Fictions about the Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance, April 2013


  • Rediscovering Jim Tully: Golden Age Hollywood's Hard-Boiled Writer, October 2012


February - September 2011





  •" in="" orsini:="" roman="" target="blank" title="The">The Orsini: A Roman Baronial Family in Context, January - March 2007
  • Queen of the Great Good Place: Gertrude Stein and her Parisian Circle, April- June 2007
  • From 12/7 to 9/11: Lessons from the Japanese American Internment, July - September 2007
  •" target="blank">Medieval Manuscripts from the Collection of Richard and Mary Rouse, October 1-7 2007
  • Transformations: The Persistence of Aldus Manutius, October - December 2007


  • Ramona Memories: Tourism and the Shaping of Southern California, December 2005 - April 2006
  • Six Hundred Years of Near Eastern Manuscripts, April - May 2006
  • Carey McWilliams: California's Advocate of Creative Dissent, June - September 2006
  • Isadora: From California to the World, October - December 2006









  • Here to Go: William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg in The Kurtzman Collection in the UCLA Department of Special Collections, February 1998. Visit the online version of" target="blank">William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg: a select bibliography of works in the UCLA University Library, published by the UCLA University Library in 1998 as an outgrowth of the Here to Go exhibition.
  •" target="blank">They Tell Us More Than The Weather: Eighteenth Century American Almanacs, July - October 1998