The Elmer Belt Library at UCLA: The Collector, the Curator, and Leonardo da Vinci

A talk by Victoria Steele
Tuesday, Nov 8, 2016 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Curators' Conversations

The most extensive research collection on Leonardo da Vinci in the United States, the Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana was dedicated in 1966 upon completion of an elegant suite of rooms for it in UCLA's Dickson Art Center. Its founder and donor, Dr. Elmer Belt, was not only one of the great collectors of his day but also a highly respected urologist and passionate advocate of public health. He was the first person in the U.S. to perform sex-change operations --- or, to use today's preferred term, gender confirmation surgeries.

The Belt Library's first librarian was Kate Steinitz, who in her younger years was an artist at the heart of the avant-garde art scene in pre-WWII Germany.

Victoria Steele, PhD, MLIS, will discuss the history of this important collection and how it is now being served.

Steele began her career in UCLA's Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana. She subsequently headed Special Collections in the Sciences, served as the Library's first development director, headed Library Special Collections, and most recently served as Clark librarian and curator of Humanities Centers, Programs, and Collections.


This occasional series explores Library collections and projects with the staff who acquire and make them available. You are welcome to bring your lunch; coffee and cookies will be served.

Seating is limited. RSVP to <>.