News, Events, Exhibits

UCLA Library Acquires Friends of the Los Angeles River Records

Since 1986 the Friends of the Los Angeles River has helped protect and restore the river’s historic heritage and riparian habitat. And now that the UCLA Library has acquired FoLAR’s complete administrative records, the story of the organization’s role in the river’s rebirth can be found in UCLA Library Special Collections. Contents document the organization's efforts to monitor and improve the river’s water quality, create educational programs, promote sustainable water usage,  and develop bikeways and pedestrian paths, among other activities. Additional details and media images are available via the UCLA Newsroom.

UCLA Library Launches L.A. Aqueduct Platform

The UCLA Library has created the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform, an innovative resource that provides public access to archival material, new scholarship, and interactive experiences relating to the aqueduct. Users will find almost two thousand digitized photographs, documents, maps, pamphlets, and other archival resources from UCLA Library Special Collections. The platform also offers social and cultural engagement space in which scholars, students, and members of the public can share research and work with primary sources as a community. Additional details and media images are available via the UCLA Newsroom.

Virginia Steel Named UCLA University Librarian

Virginia Steel, university librarian at UC Santa Cruz, has been appointed UCLA's university librarian, effective July 15. While at Santa Cruz, she oversaw a $100 million expansion and renovation of the campus's largest library on campus. She has also served on a number of systemwide committees, including the UC Council of University Librarians, which she currently chairs. Before taking the Santa Cruz position, Steel served as director of libraries at Washington State University, as associate director for public services at MIT, and in various positions at UC San Diego and Arizona State University.

UCLA Library Launches Transformative Broadcast News Platform

Comprising digital recordings of hundreds of thousands of American and international TV news programs from 2005 to the present and featuring capture, search, and playback capabilities that go beyond those of other public news archives, the UCLA Library's newly launched Broadcast NewsScape opens up transformative possibilities for teaching, research, and publication. The technology developed for the platform captures closed-captioning streams, on-screen text and detected visual shapes, along with video feeds, which can be searched or browsed. Now in its initial launch phase, Broadcast NewsScape is accessible to users on the UCLA campus or those connecting from off-campus via the campus network; project managers hope to launch the platform to the entire University of California scholarly community in the future.

Powell Library Building Houses Third Location of Undergraduate Student Writing Center

The College Library has launched a collaborative partnership with UCLA's Undergraduate Student Writing Center to host a new location for the center starting in the winter quarter. This location, which is the center's third site, makes peer-to-peer writing consultation services more accessible to students while also introducing them to library collections, services, and staff expertise for assistance with research projects.

Housed in room 228, located in the west hallway on the second floor, the center is open Sunday through Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Six undergraduate students trained as peer learning facilitators provide one-on-one writing consultations and are also being trained to help direct students to relevant library collections and services. Appointments are available in advance and on a walk-in basis. This service is supported by the UCLA Library's Rose Gilbert Fund.

UCLA Library Acquires Papers of Campaign Strategist Garry South

Called "the Carville of California" by the New York Times, Democratic political consultant Garry South has donated his extensive campaign archives to the UCLA Library. Offering unique insight into the political process, the collection, which features materials from three of California Gov. Gray Davis' campaigns for statewide office, testifies to the secretive, arcane art of crafting successful campaign strategies and is thought to be one of the most complete campaign archives in existence.

South managed Davis' campaigns for California lieutenant governor in 1994 and governor in 1998 and 2002; advised on campaigns for Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman; and has had an extensive career in Democratic Party politics. For Davis' 1998 gubernatorial campaign, South was named “Campaign Manager of the Year” by the American Association of Political Consultants, an honor he shares with Karl Rove, James Carville, and the late Lee Atwater.

The collection contains research files, correspondence, campaign materials, poll data, and clippings as well as recordings of commercials, news coverage, and debates. Of particular note are extensive research files on Davis' opponents in primaries or general elections, including Al Checchi, Jane Harman, Dan Lungren, Bill Simon and Richard Riordan. South has also given the UCLA Library the copyright to the materials so that they can be digitized and made available for nonprofit educational and informational uses. The collection is housed in UCLA Library Special Collections.

UCLA Library Acquires Papers of Justice for Janitors Labor Organization

The UCLA Library has acquired the historical records of the Justice for Janitors campaign in Los Angeles, documenting the activities of this dynamic labor organization with deep links to the city's working-class immigrant and African American communities. Donated by Services Employees International Union United Service Workers West, the records document the movement's development of innovative organizing and research strategies, demographic changes in the building-service workforce, and the transformation of labor union policies toward immigrant workers.

UCLA Library Receives Major Gift for Project focused on Ephemeral Media of Middle East

The UCLA Library has received a grant of $3.4 million from the Arcadia Fund to launch an initiative to digitize, preserve, and provide broad public access to print items, images, multimedia, and social networking resources produced in the Middle East.

Increasingly, the day-to-day reality of current events in the Middle East is documented not in the pages of printed newspapers but through Facebook postings, tweets, smartphone photos, and other informal ephemeral media. The new International Digitizing Ephemera Project will focus on collecting this documentation, organizing it, and making it available, together with digitized versions of relevant print items, to offer primary sources that students and scholars can utilize and build upon in instruction and research.

UCLA Digital Library Publishes Hidden Content of Explorer David Livingstone's Field Writings

In Africa in 1871, the Victorian explorer David Livingstone met Henry M. Stanley of the New York Herald and gave him a harrowing account of a massacre by slave traders of four hundred people. Stanley's press reports prompted the British government to close the East African slave trade, secured Livingstone's place in history, and launched Stanley's own career as an imperialist in Africa.

An international team of scholars and scientists led by Adrian Wisnicki of Indiana University of Pennsylvania has just completed an eighteen-month project to recover Livingstone's original account of the massacre, found in a diary that was illegible until it was restored with advanced digital imaging.

Livingstone's 1871 Field Diary is a free online public resource published by the UCLA Digital Library Program. Digital images of other Livingstone writings are also available through the Digital Library project.

UCLA Library Acquires LAUSD Historical Archive

The UCLA Library has entered into an agreement to acquire the historical records of the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the most important public education enterprises in the nation. Covering more than one hundred years of Southern California public education and civic life, this extensive archive documents major aspects of district operations dating back to the late nineteenth century.

Among its most significant contents are demographic surveys conducted in the 1920s to segregate school populations based on race, materials recording the school board's response to the landmark Crawford desegregation lawsuit filed in 1963, and decades of files documenting the district's administration of busing and desegregation programs.

Also important are district-wide publications distributed by Susan Miller Dorsey, the first woman superintendent; material documenting Faye Allen, the first African American elected to the board; and records of Japanese American students interned during World War II. In addition, photos document the reconstruction of schools and neighborhoods following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, and architectural plans record some one hundred years of school construction.

The collection includes official records of the Los Angeles Board of Education, consisting of board and committee reports and minutes, financial records, and school directories. These are supported by research files containing documentation such as letters, reports, catalogs, and lists for board actions. Subjects range from curriculum, desegregation, enrollment, staff, and health and safety to buildings and facilities, athletics, "un-American activities," and challenged library books.

UCLA Library Special Collections Acquires Ethiopic Manuscripts Collection

The UCLA Library has acquired the largest private collection of Ethiopic manuscripts and scrolls in the U.S., given by Gerald and Barbara Weiner. Together with the Library's existing collections, this gift makes the UCLA Library the leading repository for Ethiopic manuscripts in North America.

Dating from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, the collection of 137 bound manuscripts and 102 scrolls is particularly rich in elaborately illustrated liturgical texts. Highlights include a late nineteenth/early twentieth-century version of the Gospels containing seventy-eight miniatures; a nineteenth-century "lives of the saints" with forty miniatures; a twentieth-century compilation of a table blessing and miracles performed by Jesus with thirty-seven miniatures; and a twentieth-century collection of prayers with an image of John the Evangelist and twenty-six miniatures.

UCLA Library Special Collections Acquires Bourbon Family Archive

The UCLA Library has acquired the Bourbon del Monte di San Faustino Family Archive, a comprehensive collection of fourteenth- to nineteenth-century documents created by, for, and about this prominent Italian family. Among its contents are civil and ecclesiastical contracts, documents from lawsuits and court cases, wills and post-mortem inventories, genealogies, certificates of nobility, correspondence, and family chronicles.

The family can trace its origin and lineage back to the time of Charlemagne, who granted its original patent of nobility. The territory over which its members ruled for centuries spanned parts of Tuscany and Umbria.

The archive contains more than twenty-one thousand manuscript leaves, more than two thousand printed pages, and thirty large illuminated parchment documents. Its unbroken provenance can be traced back to the sixteenth century. It is a gift from Montino Bourbon, sixth Principe di San Faustino, Marchese di Monte Santa Maria, and his wife, Rita; Montino was born in Rome and currently lives in Santa Barbara, California.

UCLA Library and Mazer Archives Launch Partnership

The UCLA Library and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives have launched an outreach and collection-building partnership, which will expand access to collections held by the Mazer Archives and expand the Library's holdings in this important area of social and cultural history. The Mazer Archives is the largest major archive on the West Coast dedicated to preserving and promoting lesbian and feminist history and culture.

The partnership draws on the strengths of each organization: the Mazer Archives to identify collections, solicit donors, and provide expertise; and the Library to process collections, preserve their contents, and make them broadly accessible. The project has begun with the creation of finding aids for and digitization of the collections of Connexus Women’s Center/Centro de Mujeres, Southern California Women for Understanding, and Women Against Violence Against Women and the papers of Margaret Cruikshank and Lillian Faderman, all of which are accessible via the Digital Library portal.

New Project Will Highlight L.A.'s Cultures, Communities, Histories

The UCLA Library has announced an innovative project to gather, preserve, interpret, and make accessible its collections documenting the remarkable multiplicity of cultures and at-risk hidden histories of the Los Angeles region.

"Collecting Los Angeles," the first project to be made possible by a recent $5 million gift from the Arcadia Fund (see below) intended to support transformational changes in the UCLA Library's collections and the services that support them, will build on the Library's existing strengths in this area, which encompass special collections, photo archives, oral histories, maps, and circulating materials on local history, government, politics, and literary, performing, and visual arts.

The new initiative's curator will be Susan Anderson, an accomplished historian, author, editor, and project manager who has consulted for the California State Parks Foundation and the California Endowment and curated a statewide touring exhibition on the African American community of Allensworth, California. Most recently, she served as managing director of the "LA as Subject" program at the USC Libraries. Anderson, who has taught at Pitzer College, received her bachelor's degree from Scripps College and her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

UCLA Library Acquires Fante Papers

The UCLA Library has acquired the literary papers of the Los Angeles novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter John Fante (1909–83). The collection contains his manuscripts for books, short stories and screenplays; personal letters; business records, including book contracts; and memorabilia.

The literary materials in the collection encompass all the manuscripts that are known to exist for Fante's novels, short stories, and screenplays, many of them featuring Fante's annotations, as well as proofs for his books and copies of the magazines in which his stories appeared. Among the items of memorabilia are Fante's typewriter and pencil, his Screen Writers Guild (later Writers Guild) membership certificates, numerous photographs, and a lock of his hair.

The materials will be housed in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, where they complement holdings of papers and books by other authors associated with California and Los Angeles, including Raymond Chandler, Nathanael West, Horace McCoy, and Fante's close friend Carey McWilliams.

UCLA Library Acquires Huxley Archive

The UCLA Library has acquired the literary archive of the visionary novelist and essayist Aldous Huxley (1894–1963). The collection contains literary materials he created subsequent to a devastating 1961 fire that destroyed his Los Angeles home and much of his earlier archive; correspondence, photographs, and audio tapes; and typescripts and galley proofs retrieved from publishers after his death. Also included are the papers of his wife, Laura Huxley (1911–2007), an author and lay therapist.

The literary materials include manuscripts and working papers for twelve books, including his final novel, Island; thirty-five essays, articles, and speeches; and thirty-one lectures. Among hundreds of letters are love letters between the writer and his wife. There are recordings of many of his lectures and of him reading from his novel Time Must Have a Stop (1944) and English and French poetry. The archive also contains a travel diary, four personal notebooks, and personal effects, including his British passport, a magnifying glass, fountain pens, and a leather wallet.

The archive was acquired with funds provided by Bill Edwards, a 1961 graduate of UCLA and a member of the UCLA Library's board of visitors and the Powell Society. It joins the Aldous Huxley Papers already held by the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections.

UCLA Library Receives its Largest Gift Ever for Collections

The UCLA Library has received the largest single gift for collections in its history: $5 million from the Arcadia Fund. Gift funds will be used to support efforts to further develop and preserve collections and make them accessible.

Among the possibilities under discussion are projects that build new collections, enhance existing ones, repurpose already digitized materials, expand digitization efforts into new areas of concentration, and explore and develop new types of recorded knowledge. Funds may also be used to enhance end-user discovery of UCLA Library holdings, encourage the use of materials in novel ways, leverage new technology to attract broader audiences to use them in instruction and scholarship, and manage and make accessible scholarship in new formats.

The Arcadia Fund's key mission is the preservation of cultural knowledge and materials and environmental conservation. This includes near-extinct languages, rare historical archives and museum-quality artifacts, and the protection of ecosystems and environments threatened with extinction. Arcadia has made several major donations to the UCLA Library to support the Center for Primary Research and Training in the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections, the most recent being a significant gift in 2008 to the endowment supporting the program.