Special Collections
UCLA Library Special Collections

About Library Special Collections

Welcome from the Interim Director

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to UCLA Library Special Collections, where we acquire, preserve, promote, and make accessible a world-class collection of archives, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and other rare and unique materials that tell the story of our collective past.  Our holdings document society and culture from the ancient to the contemporary and we hold a great appreciation for a sophisticated understanding of history in its broadest sense. 

Tempting as it is to orient ourselves solely toward the past, we direct our collections, services, and programs to the future, with a passion for fresh discoveries, new knowledge, and creativity.  Special collections are about people, and at UCLA we care most about connecting the resources we steward to all who will use them for intellectual, educational, and other pursuits. 

So whether you are an instructor integrating primary sources into your classroom, a scholar designing an innovative research project, a student beginning research for a class or capstone project, or a citizen wanting to learn more about history, society, and culture, we want to partner with you and support your work.  I invite you to explore our website, discover the wealth of resources available for your use, and schedule a visit to UCLA Library Special Collections. 

Susan E. Parker, Ph.D.
Interim Director of UCLA Library Special Collections


UCLA Library Special Collections inspires discovery, cultivates knowledge, advances research, and preserves cultural heritage to create a distinctive learning environment for the UCLA community and society at-large. We welcome researchers to explore our collections of rare books, archives, manuscripts, oral histories, and other materials and to utilize our services.


The following principles demonstrate our commitment to excellence and set the foundation for our culture and actions:

Open Access

Support the free exchange of information and ensure all of our holdings can be discovered and used, and reach as wide an audience as possible.


Provide expert staff to meet the needs of our users as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible and to anticipate and address evolving research needs.


Partner with colleagues in the UCLA Library, on campus, in our surrounding communities, and in the library and archives profession to build capacity and achieve common goals.


Teach others the significance of our cultural heritage and the importance of primary research skills and ensure our holdings are incorporated into all levels of the UCLA curriculum.


Develop creative, practical, and flexible strategies to meet the challenges of the future by harnessing the best new methods and technologies.


Demonstrate Library Special Collections’s role as fundamental to the mission of the UCLA Library and the university by enacting and broadly promoting our mission and principles.

Supporting Documents

Library Special Collections Missions, Principles, and Directions (Adobe PDF File)