Access to Unprocessed Library Special Collections Policy
Learn about the different levels of discovery and access to Library Special Collections materials.
UCLA Library Special Collections (LSC) is making strides to ensure that all collections in our custody are, at minimum, searchable and discoverable by users through finding aids on the Online Archive of California(opens in a new tab) and catalog records in UC Library Search(opens in a new tab) and WorldCat(opens in a new tab). This ensures that users have a better and broader sense of the scope of LSC's holdings. However, providing this baseline discovery to all of our stewarded materials is a long-term process. While it is a priority to ensure that this happens, there may be some collections for which there is not yet description available at this time.
Additionally, those collections that do currently have an available finding aid and/or catalog record may not be fully accessible for users in the reading room. In order to be accessible, physical materials must meet baseline description requirements and be stabilized (rehoused, reformatted and/or treated for preservation issues) for safe handling by users. Even when collections meet these requirements, they may still be inaccessible and require additional processing and cataloging due to donor-imposed or legal restrictions, preservation requirements, extent and arrangement of the collection, and, for born-digital and audiovisual materials, technical access requirements, such as the lack of specific hardware/software to process or access materials or because the material has not yet been digitized.
At this time, LSC does not provide access to unprocessed collections
due to limited staff resources. Collections that are partially
accessible or only baseline discoverable are placed in a processing
queue where they are prioritized based on criteria related to user
interest, instruction and programming alignment, preservation needs, and
operational and resource needs. If you are interested in a collection
that is partially or not fully accessible in the reading room, please
register your interest via the form below. Due to limited staff
resources, staff will be unable to directly respond to submissions,
though you should receive notification from the system that your form
was received. Note that registering of interest does not guarantee
immediate prioritization of the collection and, instead, helps staff to
make data-driven decisions about prioritization.
There are different levels of discovery and access to special collections materials. Discovery means that description about materials exists and can be searched and discovered by users, while access means that the materials can be physically or digitally accessed and used by researchers.