General Collections

The Arts Library has more than 300,000 books in the fields of architecture architectural history, art, art history, design, film, television, photography as art, and theater. Approximately one-third of these holdings are stored in the Southern Regional Library Facility. Most of the rest are housed in the open stacks of the Arts Library's main facility in 1400 Public Affairs Building. Most open-stack materials circulate to readers with valid UCLA Library cards; major exceptions are reference works and current unbound periodicals. A small number of frequently requested items designated for permanent or specific course reserves are kept in closed stacks behind the circulation desk, where they can may be requested.

Art and Art History

The art collection covers all aspects and periods of art and art history. It is strong in Italian Renaissance art, especially in Leonardo da Vinci materials, many of which can be found in the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana; seventeenth-century Dutch art; African art; pre-Columbian art; Asian art in Western languages, with vernacular-language materials are housed in the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library; South Asian art; contemporary Latin American art; new media; and contemporary art in general. Among its other strengths are museum studies, iconography, art theory, exhibition catalogs, and electronic resources. The library has an outstanding collection of artists' books, which complements those in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections. The Visual Resources Collections are located in the art history and  architecture departments and are not part of the library.


The architecture collection spans all areas of architectural history, theory, and practice. Focal points include contemporary European, Japanese, and Australian architecture as well as twentieth-century Southern California and West Coast design.


The Arts Library collects selectively in all areas of design and design history, including new media, industrial, graphic, typographic, furniture, glass, ceramics, fashion, textile, and jewelry design.

Film and Television

Collections in film and television encompass monographs, reference works, periodicals, and microforms on the history, criticism, and theory of film and television, with particular strengths in American and European film and Third Cinema, or cinemas of the developing world. The library also selectively collects works on the production, including pre- and post-production, of film and television in support of the academic curriculum in this area. Some materials are also housed in the Research LibraryPerforming Arts Special Collections contains archival collections related to film and television, with particular strengths in American film; these include studio collections and personal papers as well as significant stand-alone collections of scripts, stills, and promotional materials. Films and videos themselves can be accessed through the UCLA Film and Television Archive or Instructional Media Collections and Services and are generally not part of Arts Library collections.


Theater as a subject is both a form of literature, placing it within the humanities, and a performing art, which is the Arts Library's purview. Thus, these collections are split, with the Research Library collecting comprehensively in the history of world theater, theater theory and criticism, and plays. In support of the theater department's production needs, the Arts Library collects materials on theater production, including acting, set design, and playwriting, along with a limited number of items on the history, theory, and criticism of Anglo-American theater production in support of the recently revitalized theater doctoral program.  It also maintains a selected plays collection for auditions and exercises and serves as the central location for periodicals and reference materials in theater. In addition, Performing Arts Special Collections houses many archival collections related to theater; there are also many theater-related collections in the Research Library Department of Special Collections.

Special Collections