Read About Collections and Collecting Areas
- Architecture and Landscape Architecture
- Area Studies
- The Arts
- Ethnic Studies
- Government and Politics
- Hebraica and Judaica
- History of Philosophy
- History of Printing
- History of Science and Technology
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Studies
- Natural Resources
- Oral History Interview Transcripts
- Travel and Exploration
- UCLA University Archives
Holdings document the exploration of new materials, the indoor-outdoor lifestyle afforded by Southern California's climate, and the connection of architecture with the growth of the region. The papers of A. Quincy Jones, Richard Neutra, and Lloyd Wright contain near-complete records of their work. The Max and Rita Lawrence papers document architectural pottery and other items associated with modern Los Angeles architecture, and the S. Charles Lee drawings and photographs trace the evolution of motion picture theater buildings. Papers of landscape architects include Ralph D. Cornell, Edward Huntsman-Trout, Florence Yoch, and Philip E. Chandler, in addition to the records of the American Institute of Landscape Architects.
The Han Yü-shan Collection contains the only original Chinese Imperial and Academy examination papers (seventeenth through nineteenth centuries) in the West. The department also has a few single Chinese, Japanese, and Korean manuscripts from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.
French holdings include a collection of political pamphlets from the period of Cardinal Mazarin (1648-53). The department's collection is annotated in its copy of Célestin Moreau's Bibliographie des mazarinades (Paris: Jules Renouard, 1850-51). Other printed holdings include the first and other early editions of the Diderot and d'Alembert encyclopedias. The department holds the research collection of Roger Mennevée for his 1920-69 monthly political review.
Germanic collections include early Dutch and German pamphlets and books, works of Belgian artist Frans Masereel, and papers of Austrian writer Franz Werfel. The Germanic holdings are supported by Icelandic and Old Norse facsimile manuscripts and by a microfilm collection of the papers of Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler. The Italian Orsini family papers date from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the collection's holdings in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. The collection contains documents concerning foreign states and attendance on the papal throne; inventories describing the property of the Orsinis; inventories of marriage settlements and dowries, inheritances, donations, and wills; and topographical and architectural plans of property owned and managed by the family.
Collections of Latin American social and cultural history include colonial period manuscripts in Spanish and Nahuatl, nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs, popular cultural documents from Brazil (literatura de cordel chapbooks, caricature magazines, and Positivist Church tracts), labor and radical newspapers, and facsimiles of Aztec and Mayan codices. There are examples of early printing, polemical ephemera of the Mexican independence period, and nineteenth-century lithography.
Collections supporting Near Eastern studies include approximately fifteen thousand manuscripts, with catalogues, in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, primarily in the fields of literature, philology, theology, law, and history, and ranging from the eleventh through the nineteenth centuries. The department holds Dr. Caro Minasian's library, a collection of Armenian religious manuscripts dating from the fourteenth century. Among printed materials are fine-press editions and translations of the Persian poet-philosopher Omar Khayyam, limited-edition facsimiles of illuminated Arabic manuscripts, and historical editions and versions in European languages of the Arabian Tales of the One Thousand and One Nights. The collections are supported by more than two thousand nineteenth- and early twentieth-century photographs, many by Francis Frith, of people and places in Egypt, Israel, Iran, Istanbul, and the Levant.
The Arts Library is the principal source for printed material in these areas, including architecture and landscape architecture, and for collections in the areas of film, radio, television, and theater.
However, the Department of Special Collections has more than140 collections in the entertainment arts, most described in Linda Harris Mehr's Motion Pictures, Television, and Radio: A Union Catalogue of Manuscript and Special Collections in the Western United States (Boston: G.K. Hall, 1977). The department holds manuscript collections in the other arts as well as in architecture and landscape architecture.
One of the department's most important holdings in dance relates to the Denishawn dancers, Ruth St. Denis (more than one hundred boxes) and Ted Shawn (two boxes). The Arthur Todd Dance Collection comprises thirty boxes of ephemera, photographs, programs, and memorabilia relating to dance in the twentieth century, including clippings, programs, fliers, magazines, and posters, as well as letters to Todd. The department also owns the papers of British dancer Maud Allan, an interpretive dancer active in the early twentieth century. Separate collections pertaining to choreographers Gower Champion and Jake Cole document important careers on the stage and screen. The Gordon Anthony Ballet and Theatrical Photographs Collection and the Ernest Belcher Collection contain photographs and programs of both British and American dancers. Another collection (twenty-two boxes) of dance programs document virtually every major British and American dance performances between 1900 and 1990. The Folk Dance Federation of Southern California was established in 1946 to conduct monthly festivals, encourage research in authentic dance forms, and to provide recognized patterns of folk dances; their collection comprises forty-one boxes.
The department has acquired the largest private collection ever assembled of rare materials by and about modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan (1877/78-1927). Built by
Recognizing that fashion is a branch of the visual and performing arts, this is a growing area for the department. The department owns a copy of the Gazette du Bon Ton, an exquisitely designed and colorfully illustrated French journal published between 1912 and 1914 that was the forerunner of Vogue magazine, as well as the rare 1914 color-plate book known as Le Vrai et Faux Chic by Sem, a work that sought to distinguish between fashionable women of good taste from the false chic of the unfashionable. A collection of more than two hundred drawings by the extraordinarily important early twentieth-century fashion designer Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935) documents her designs between 1913 and 1923. One of Lucile’s protégés was Robert Kalloch, who went on to an important career in motion picture costume design. His sketches, dating from the 1930s to the early '40s, are found in the papers of Peggy Hamilton Adams, a colorful figure whose voluminous papers document her career as the self-proclaimed "best dressed girl in Hollywood." Seventy-three large scrapbooks contain photographs of her remarkable wardrobe when she was active in fashion between 1917 and 1934. Performing Arts Special Collections contains an important collection of sketches by Dorothy Jeakins, one of the most successful motion picture and television designers.
Rudi Gernreich (1922-85) was one of the twentieth century's greatest fashion and design innovators, receiving numerous awards for his work done largely in Los Angeles. His large (189 boxes) collection includes correspondence, clippings, bills, photographs, and family papers as well as clothing, accessories, products, and related items designed by him.
Another key twentieth-century designer is Bonnie Cashin, whose archive consists of sketches, clippings, photographs, diaries, videos, and examples of her designs. Born in Oakland, California, in 1915, Cashin spent her youth in Southern California. After several years designing costumes for the stage, she went to work for Twentieth Century Fox in Hollywood, creating costumes for more than thirty major films. In 1949 she moved to New York to open her own business, which flourished until the 1980s.
Works of Art
The department has almost half-a-million prints and many other works of art, most having come as parts of collections. Included are images of famous writers, art by writers, paintings and drawings created by Japanese Americans during their World War II internment, and the work of artists associated with bookmaking.
The foundation for printed Californiana is the second collection of bookseller and librarian Robert Ernest Cowan. His Bibliography of the History of California, 1510-1930 (San Francisco; printed by John Henry Nash, 1933) listed 4,700 titles. UCLA's collection has more than eighty percent of these titles, as well as many works he did not identify. Collection has continued since the Cowan acquisition, with recent focus on works about and printed in Southern California.
Non-book materials in a variety of formats date mainly from 1840 onwards and include records and papers for many interconnected activities in the region's development: agriculture; architecture and landscape architecture; the book trade and fine printing; civic development; civil liberties; crime; dance; education; fashion design; journalism; labor relations; literature; local politics and reform; the motion picture and television industries; real estate development; natural resources, particularly water; and special events, such as the 1932 and 1984 Olympic games. A summary guide to these holdings appears in "California collections at UCLA" in Guide to the History of California (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988). Many personal papers are complemented by UCLA Center for Oral History Research interviews.
The growing ethnic diversity of Southern California is reflected in holdings related to various ethnic groups.
Documentation for Japanese Americans is the largest for any single group. These holdings, considered the foremost in the country, are mostly contained in the Japanese American Research Project collection and focus on the Issei. This collection includes more than one hundred groups of personal papers of individuals and families; several thousand responses to surveys conducted in the 1960s of the Issei, Nisei, and Sansei generations, and more than four hundred tape-recorded oral histories; art done by internees during World War II; rare publications of Japanese American communities and organization; records relating to Japanese consulates on the West Coast; and the administrative records of the project.
Collections relating to African Americans are also significant in size. Most collections for African Americans date to the twentieth century, such as the papers of Ralph Bunche; the George P. Johnson Negro Film Collection, comprising printed, photographic, and manuscript materials; the Civil Rights Movement in the United States Collection; and the records of the Golden State Mutual Insurance Company. Printed materials include the Arthur B. Spingarn Collection of literary works by American blacks and pamphlets on the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The department has material for the study of all periods of Chicano/a history, particularly in relation to California. At present, the major strength of the holdings relates to documentation on issues of immigration, labor, and social justice from the 1920s through the '40s and includes papers of Carey McWilliams and Alice Greenfield McGrath and the latter's records as secretary of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee. Sources available for the study of the Mexican heritage include Nahuatl documents and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century prints.
Likewise, there are holdings relating to Chinese American, Filipino/a Americans, Korean American, and Native Americans.
The department has broad holdings relating to government and politics at both the national and local level for California generally and Los Angeles locally.
Papers of General William Rosecrans and of U.S. Senator Cornelius Cole are major resources for the nineteenth century. The books, pamphlets, and ephemera of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the papers of Dr. Haynes and Franklin Hichborn document early twentieth-century California and Los Angeles reform politics, complemented by the papers of Edward A. Dickson and Katherine Philips Edson. The Clifford E. Clinton papers and the Joseph E. Shaw papers document, from different perspectives, reforms of the 1930s and '40s. Papers of a number of local Congressmen carry the record forward: Anthony C. Beilensen, Augustus F. Hawkins, Carlos J. Moorhead, and Edward R. Roybal. Records of the California Democratic Council and the California Republican Assembly provide material for the study of the important grassroots politics of California from the 1930s on.
The Tom Bradley Administrative Archive (1963-93) records the activities of the Los Angeles mayor whose tenure covered an unprecedented five terms.
There are rare volumes from the Mr. and Mrs. Theodore E.Cummings Collection of Hebraica and Judaica. An example from other acquisitions is the commentary on the Pentateuch by Moses ben Nahman (Nahmanides) printed in Lisbon in 1489, a gift of Dr. Felix Guggenheim. Italian Hebraica are in the Ahmanson-Murphy collections, including many titles from the Adelkind, Bomberghen and Soncino printing houses. There is a collection of miscellaneous nineteenth-century pamphlets and one of twentieth-century pamphlets of organizations such as the Jewish Defense League. The Rabbi N. Feldman and Rabbi Hayyim Rosenberg collections contain several hundred individual manuscripts from the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries.
The Abraham Wolf Collection of Spinoza includes a partial reconstruction of titles from Spinoza's library. There are also original editions of his works and those of many of his contemporaries. There is a collection of first and important editions of Descartes, as well as works about him. The Spinoza and Descartes collections are among the most comprehensive extant. The department has the papers of F. C. S. Schiller, providing resources for the study of Schiller and his contemporaries, including Henri Bergson, John Dewey, and Bertrand Russell. The department also has a microfilm collection of select original papers of Leibniz, including all of the philosopher's unpublished and inaccurately published manuscripts and letters.
The department has holdings of printed and manuscript collections supporting research in the history of printing, the graphic arts, bibliography, the book trade, fictitious imprints (1600-1900), and emblem books from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. While every printed item in the collections can be considered an artifact of some aspect of printing history, below are highlights of active collecting areas.
Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection
The collection of the publications of Aldo Manuzio, his family, and imitators was begun in 1961 during the tenure of Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy. It has become the foremost Aldine collection in North America. The UCLA collection contains more than 750 items listed in A.-A. Renouard's Annales de l"imprimerie des Alde (Paris: Jules Renouard, 1834). The department has nearly eighty percent of the books printed by the elder Aldo. In May 2001 the University of California Press published The Aldine Press Catalogue of the Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Books by or Relating to the Press in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles: Incorporating Works Recorded Elsewhere. Further bibliographic and ordering information for The Aldine Press is available directly from University of California Press.
Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Early Italian Printing
The Ahmanson-Murphy Collection of Early Italian Printing was established to expand research holdings printed during the period of the Aldine collection. More than three hundred printers are represented, with more comprehensive holdings of Antonio Blado of Rome, Gabriele Giolito de Ferrari of Venice, and Giunti family of Florence and Venice. The collection preserves nearly three hundred fifteenth-century Italian books exclusive of the Aldines. More than twenty were produced by Nicolas Jenson and ten or more each by Johann von Köln and Johann Manthen, Cristoforo de' Pensi, and Erhard Ratdolt. Notable among the manuscripts supporting the Italian printing collection and classical, medieval, and Renaissance studies are the Orsini family papers, dating from 1200 to 1929, and the Giunti inventory, ca. 1600; see Martin Lowry's Book Prices in Renaissance Venice: The Stockbook of Bernardo Giunti, Los Angeles: UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, 1991. For an overview of the manuscript holdings of the period, see Mirella Ferrari's Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the University of California, Los Angeles, edited by R. H. Rouse (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991).
Modern Fine Printing and Graphic Arts
The department has coordinated its collections of modern fine presses, particularly those of California printers, with the Clark Library. It is a repository of publications of the Black Sparrow Press (California) and the Whittington Press (England). Special book collections have been created, such as one for books printed by Edmund Evans and another for books designed and illustrated by Rex Whistler. Charles Gullans and John Espey presented their collections of bindings designed by the Decorative Designers and by Margaret Armstrong. The department maintains with current acquisitions a collection of graphic arts ephemera, mostly prospectuses, begun by Jake Zeitlin.
There are early books on science and engineering, printed works and material in various California collections on mining and agriculture, and the papers of Alexander Klemin and Elizabeth Hiatt Gregory on aeronautical history. Among scientists' papers are those of physicist Vern O. Knudsen and of two Nobel laureates, physicist Julian S. Schwinger and chemist Willart F. Libby. Dr. Stafford L. Warren's papers include documentation of the Manhattan Project and Operation Crossroads.
The department holds LGBT Studies materials in all collecting areas described in this guide, from incunabula to lesbian pulp fiction and from the first "gay study" in English (1883) to paperback popular psychology. In addition to printed materials there are personal papers and oral histories.
These materials enhance the department's holdings in the social and cultural history of Los Angeles and include interrelated materials from ethnic, racial, and other minorities. They reveal how lesbians, gays, and the others created a context for social change, particularly during the early years of liberation.
The William Andrews Clark Memorial Library and the department have coordinated their collecting of British and American literature. The Clark's English printed books range from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, but its strength is in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century studies. The department's holdings overlap with the Clark's chronologically, as in its collection of British pamphlets dating from 1660, the A. N. L. Munby collection of eighteenth-century English plays, collections of Gothic writers William Beckford and Ann Radcliffe, and the Children's Book Collection described below, but the its principal collecting periods are the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Children's Book Collection was established through the acquisition of several private collections, notably those of Elvah Karshner, Bernard M. Meeks, Olive Percival, May and George Shiers, and d'Alté Welch. The strength of the collection resides chiefly in English and American publications before 1840 and includes titles issued by such publishers as the Newbery family, John Harris, Benjamin Tabart, and Kendrew of York. Among authors represented in depth are Maria Edgeworth, part of whose own library is in the collection; Lady Fenn, writing as Mrs. Lovechild; Dorothy Kilner, writing as M. Pelham; and Mrs. Sherwood and Mrs. Trimmer, both prescriptive writers of the nineteenth century.
The English materials are supported by foreign-language editions, particularly Madame d'Aulnoy's fairy tales. Early games and pop-up and other movable books form a major segment of the collection, which includes the most extensive collection of harlequinades extant. The collection also includes some primary and secondary American textbooks, among them McGuffey readers and California textbooks. There is also a collection of modern juvenile books, including runs of the Newbery and Caldecott medal winners, and Russian children's books published between the two world wars.
Manuscripts supporting the the collection include more than a hundred of Maria Edgeworth's letters and holographs of some of her stories; Mrs. Sherwood's manuscript journal, largely unpublished; the papers of Margery Fisher; and the papers and drawings of Lucille and Holling Clancy Holling.
European and American holdings are representative; researchers will find works by the major writers of the century in the department. There are more comprehensive collections of Richard Henry Dana, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Arthur Rimbaud, for example, and the Edwin S. Shneidman and David W. Shneidman Collection of Herman Melville, which contains most of the first editions as well as Melville biographies and books on whaling.
The strength of the literary collections of this period is British, anchored in the Michael Sadleir Collection, which the university acquired en bloc in 1951. The collection is housed in the Bradford A. Booth Memorial Room and includes most significant novelists of the period. Among published materials are many important publishers' series of the period and a comprehensive gathering of the cheaply published yellowbacks, the counterparts of modern paperback novels. The original acquisition, which has doubled in number of volumes since, is described completely in Michael Sadleir's XIX Century Fiction: A Bibliographical Record Based on His Own Collection (London: Constable and Co., 1951). Many single manuscripts support the printed collection. The department also holds part of the archive of the firm of Richard Bentley, publisher of many of the authors in Sadleir.
Book collections support the study of primarily British and American literature of this period. There are first and other editions of British writers E. F. Benson, Ronald Firbank, E. M. Forster, John Galsworthy, A. E. Housman, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, William Plomer, Denton Welch, and Virginia Woolf; and American writers Willa Cather, M. F. K. Fisher, Marianne Moore, Katherine Anne Porter, and Ezra Pound. The department's avant-garde collection includes copies of small press and finely printed editions of modern poetry.
There are collections of books and papers of British writers Max Beerbohm, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Norman Douglas, Lawrence Durrell, D. H. Lawrence, Harold Monro and his poetry bookshop, George Bernard Shaw, and John Collings Squire; and American writers Theodore Dreiser, Haniel Long, Edouard Roditi, and Tennessee Williams. Gilbert A. Harrison's collection of Gertrude Stein is supplemented with works of writers and other members of her circle in Paris.
The Ddepartment has papers and editions of writers whose broad ranges include California and Los Angeles: Mary Austin, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Edwin Corle, Robinson Jeffers, Lawrence Lipton, Robert Nathan, Kenneth Rexroth, Aram Saroyan, and Carolyn See. There are also papers and editions of European and American writers who settled in or around Los Angeles, many of whose later works interpret Los Angeles: Norman Cousins, Gerald Heard, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Edward James, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, and Franz Werfel.
Books and papers of writers associated with California and Los Angeles include those writers who helped to create as well as comment on the culture of twentieth-century Los Angeles: bookman and librarian Lawrence Clark Powell and journalists and writers Remi A. Nadeau, Paul Jordan Smith, Lee Shippey, John Weaver, and Matt Weinstock.
Popular Literature and Printed Materials
Reading matter that reflects popular culture and the history and marketing of printing has been collected. There is a collection of Tauchnitz Editions, the first paperback line, which was sold at European railroad stations, followed by yellowback thrillers, dime novels, pulp magazines, and the paperback. The department has a collection of Little Blue Books published by Haldeman-Julius (ca. 1929-40).
Pulp magazine collections represent most popular genres: detective, mystery, romance, science fiction, and western. Examples of longer runs include Black Mask, Dime Detective Magazine, Weird Tales, and Wild West Magazine. The department holds the Nitka Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction and a collection of first issues of comic books. There are American paperback novels from 1880 to date and books and papers of writers, Horace McCoy and Jim Thompson to name two, who were often apprenticed in pulp magazines and published in paperback.
Other popular literature includes American almanacs (ca. 1730-1880), English chapbooks (ca. 1775-1850), American hymnals (ca. 1760-1870), English and American broadside ballads (ca. 1780-1980), and American songsters (ca. 1820-1900), with an emphasis on California. Additional popular materials, such as postcards pertaining to California and Los Angeles, have been collected by the department.
Water resources holdings are linked with agriculture and the growth of the region. The papers of Philip D. Swing, Congressman and California state official, and of others who served in public office provide materials on the development of water resources, including Boulder Dam and the California State Water Project. There are papers of UCLA faculty members associated with the University of California Water Resources Center. The department holds the papers of Horace M. Albright, co-founder and second director of the National Park Service, and also houses Albright's library of printed materials relating to the national parks and conservation.
The UCLA Center for Oral History Research, founded in 1959, conducts recorded interviews that document the history of Los Angeles and the institutional history of UCLA and also undertakes selected projects that are national and international in scope. Major areas of focus include African American history, architecture, the visual arts, books and printing, civil liberties, labor, music, politics and government, the biomedical sciences, and University of California history. Its interviews frequently complement the department's exhisting collections and those of other campus libraries and archives. In turn, the interviews often lead to the acquisition of additional personal and organizational papers. The center may also accept donated interview tapes and transcripts.
For further information, see the center Web site.
Material for the study of the history of photography derives from the Albert Boni colection of books and photographs from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. It includes examples of such processes as calotype, cyanotype, and daguerreotype and works by Julia Margaret Pattle Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge, William Henry Fox Talbot, and Carleton E. Watkins. Recent photographers include Berenice Abbot, Ansel Adams, Will Connell, Burton B. Holmes, Barbara Morgan,Otto Rothschild, Brett Weston, and Edward Weston. California is represented also in the work of Adelbert Bartlett, Louis Fleckenstein, Charles F. Lummis, C.C. Pierce, Ernest M. Pratt, and Henry Hebard West.
For documentary sources, the department has formed an extensive collection of photographs on Southern California from the 1880s to the early 1950s. It houses the photographic archives of the Los Angeles Times (1918-90) and Los Angeles Daily News. There are also collections of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Latin American and Near Eastern photographs.
Printed works include the Maurice Holmes Collection of Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook, the Francis P. Farquhar Collection of Mountaineering Literature, and Yusuf Kamal's Monumenta Cartographica Africae et Aegypti (Cairo: Published by the author, 1926-51). Map collections include the Stuart de Rothesay Collection (1715-1840), the Richard C. Rudolph Collection of Japanese maps (1614-1896), and California and Los Angeles area maps.
The UCLA University Archives, established in 1949 by Provost Clarence A. Dykstra, is the official repository for non-current UCLA records having permanent historical, fiscal, legal, or administrative value. Please see the University Archives website for further information.
Material for the study of women is included in many sections of this guide. Further description of holdings is provided in an unpublished 1982 listing, "Material on Women in the Numbered Collections Catalog," available in the department. Holdings include personal papers and oral history interviews of and about women in a variety of walks of life.
Other sources include the Children's Book Collection, part of which illustrates women's cultural roles and daily life; the Sadleir collection, which contains published work of many women writers in the nineteenth century and continues to be supplemented with their manuscripts, letters, and diaries; and the Japanese American Research Project, which includes sociological surveys of Issei, Nisei, and Sansei women.