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University of California, Los Angeles Library

Library Overview

Since its founding in 1946, the Department of Special Collections has become one of the country's leading collections of rare books, manuscripts, historic photographs, and other special materials. Among its 333,000 rare books are the Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection, the Michael Sadleir Collection of Nineteenth-Century British Fiction, the Children's Book Collection, the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, the Nitka Collection of Fantastic Fiction, plus extensive holdings of historical and contemporary Californiana and of modern fine-press printing, fine bindings, and artists' books. The department possesses the largest collection of archival materials in the state of California. These include the papers of Susan Sontag, Raymond Chandler, Aldous Huxley, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche, as well as collections related to Southern California architecture; dance and Isadora Duncan; Asian-American history, particularly the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II; and the Orsini, an Italian noble family who, from the middle ages to the 20th century, were crucial power-players in Italy. The department's photographic collections are extensive, and include the works of many of the most celebrated practitioners of the art, such as Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge, William Henry Fox Talbot, Carleton Watkins, Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston. The department also houses the photographic archives of the Los Angeles Times (1920-90) and the Los Angeles Daily News (1923-54).

The UCLA Library has separate special collections in the performing arts and the history of medicine and biology. In addition, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, housed off campus, focuses on British literature, history, and culture from 1641 to 1760.

University of California, Los Angeles
Charles E. Young Research Library
Department of Special Collections
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
(310) 825-2422 (t)
(310) 206-1864 (f)