Special Collections
UCLA Library Special Collections

Online Collections

Online Archive of California logo

A core component of the California Digital Library, the Online Archive of California (OAC) is a digital information resource that facilitates and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions across California. The OAC includes a single, searchable database of finding aids to primary resources and their digital facsimiles.

UCLA LIbrary Special Collections has more than 2300 online searchable finding aids, a selection of which has online digitized content.

OAC digital content projects include:

UCLA Digital LIbrary Program

Library Special Collections has partnered with the UCLA Digital Library to digitize many of our most significant collections. Please consult the UCLA Digital Library for a complete list of collections. HIghtlights include:

UCLA Library Center for Oral History Research Program logo

UCLA’s Center for Oral History Research collects oral history interviews related primarily to the history of Southern California and the Los Angeles metropolitan region.  Many of the oral history audio files and transcripts are available on the UCLA Center for Oral History Research website.

eScholarship University of California logo

Hosted by the California Digital Library, the eScholarship Repository was launched in April 2002 to provide rapid dissemination of scholarship authored or sponsored by faculty and academic departments of the University of California.  Library Special Collections chose as its first eScholarship project the publication of papers presented at the April 2003 conference How Shall a Generation Know Its Story: The Edgar Bowers Conference and Exhibition. Additional projects can be found on the LSC page at http://escholarship.org/uc/uclalib_dsc

Digitization Initiatives

  • California Cultures

    A project of the Online Archive of California, California Cultures is a digital collection about ethnic groups in California and the West drawn from the extraordinarily rich resources of the University of California. Launched in 2004, this virtual collection provides an online resource that serves as the basis for historical studies, analysis, interpretation, and application to current events. Ultimately, California Cultures will consist of 25,000 images and 50,000 pages of text. Collections digitized include portions of the Ralph Bunche Papers, maps showing the distribution of racial groups in Los Angeles, paintings from the Japanese American internment camps, documents pertaining to the Zoot Suit riots, and photographs from the Los Angeles Times archives.

  • Children’s Book Collection

    Children's literature emerged as a distinct and independent genre only a little more than two centuries ago. Prior to the mid-eighteenth century, books were rarely created specifically for children, and children's reading was generally confined to literature intended for their education and moral edification rather than for their amusement. Religious works, grammar books, and "courtesy books" (which offered instruction on proper behavior) were virtually the only early books directed at children. In these books illustration played a relatively minor role, usually consisting of small woodcut vignettes or engraved frontispieces created by anonymous illustrators.  This collection includes over 1,800 digitized children’s books, including Goody Two-Shoes (1888), which has been downloaded over two million times through the site.

  • Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990

    The Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, ca. 1918-1990, is one of the most heavily used of UCLA's Special Collections. The collection consists of approximately 3.5 million photographic negatives and 1.5 million photographic prints documenting events and people in California, the United States, and the world. The material originates from the Los Angeles Times and includes glass negatives (ca. 1918-1932), nitrate negatives (ca. 1925-45), and safety negatives (ca. 1935-1990). It also includes prints and negatives from the Los Angeles Times Orange County and San Diego bureaus.
    Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990 expands on the content digitized for California Cultures by building a digital archive of ca. 5000 additional images documenting important events and figures in California's rich history.
    The project is a joint effort between Library Special Collections, UCLA Digital Library, and the Southern Regional Library Facility (SRLF). Project funding has been provided by the Online Archive of California.

  • The Index of Medieval Medical Images (IMMI)

    The Index of Medieval Medical Images project began in 1988 and aimed to describe and index the content of all medieval manuscript images (up to the year 1500) with medical components held in North American collections. The goal of this 2001 pilot project was to make the descriptions and the images available via a searchable database on the Web.

  • International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Online Archives

    Featuring excerpts from Pain: A Universal Problem and an International Field, an exhibition for the 9th World Congress on Pain (Vienna, 1999) to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).

  • Los Angeles Aqueduct Platform

    In partnership with Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio, UCLA Library Special Collections developed the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform in commemoration of the Aqueduct’s centennial, November 5, 2013.  The platform provides access to digitized archival resources from UCLA Library Special Collections, including photographs, documents, maps, and pamphlets. Featuring original scholarship from graduate students in the Center for Primary Research and Training, a program in UCLA Library Special Collections, the platform serves as a space where scholars, writers, and students share research that contextualizes the Aqueduct’s historical, social, political, and environmental impact on California and the nation.

    The platform will also provide access to more than 2000 archival resource descriptions from six California institutions: Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center; Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, The Claremont Colleges and the Claremont Colleges Digital Library; Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge; Eastern California Museum; William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University; and UC Riverside Libraries, Water Resources Collections and Archives. Incorporating these resources into the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform enables users to search across the holdings of multiple repositories to discover archival materials.