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What We Collect

UCLA Library Special Collections (LSC) acquires archives, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, audiovisual materials, digital files, cartographic and other primary source materials of a rare or unique nature. We acquire new holdings predominately through donations and transfers, and purchase a select amount of material. We also create new scholarly documentation through conducting oral history interviews that support our current collecting priorities.

What Guides Our Collection Decisions

LSC makes a full stewardship commitment to materials we acquire. We make acquisitions decisions with the expectation that we will be able to preserve materials adequately and make them available for research.

Library Special Collections Principles for Collecting Material

Through collecting, LSC strives to:

  • Engage with research, teaching and learning that serve UCLA faculty and students, as well as visiting researchers.
  • Acquire rare, unique and valuable materials.
  • Develop world-renowned collections in selected areas.
  • Emphasize collecting materials that document the history, society and culture of UCLA, Los Angeles and Southern California.
  • Grow our national and international collections.
  • Support existing research areas in multiple disciplines and anticipate emerging and future research trends.
  • Provide rich documentation within our collecting priorities, regardless of format.
  • Create new scholarly resources by conducting in-depth oral histories of communities not adequately documented through traditional special collections formats.
  • Work collaboratively within a network of other institutions to collect materials and preserve cultural heritage that without duplicating the collection strengths of others.
  • Steward materials to preserve them and make them discoverable and available for research indefinitely.
  • Evolve over time by reviewing this policy periodically.
  • Avoid acquisitions that duplicate the collection strengths of other institutions.