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While the UCLA Library’s home base is the UCLA campus, where eight Library locations serve many roles, the Library’s work to protect history and curate knowledge doesn’t stop in Westwood. Through loans of rare and unique materials, licensing of historical media, online collections and touring series, the Library and its UCLA Film & Television Archive division are helping activate conversations beyond campus. By sharing UCLA collections with museums, archives, universities, film festivals and individual creators from around the world, and by making many of these materials freely accessible online, the Library is bringing pieces of history to communities and scholars everywhere.

Read on for an overview of the global accessibility of UCLA Library and UCLA Film & Television Archive collections during the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Loans: From Rediscovered Drawings to a Masterpiece of American Cinema

A set of 59 drawings from UCLA Library’s Rick Barton Drawings and Paintings Collection were seen by thousands of people at the Morgan Library & Museum’s critically acclaimed summer exhibition "Writing a Chrysanthemum: The Drawings of Rick Barton(opens in a new tab).” While the UCLA drawings represent more than 90 percent of the materials in the show, Library Special Collections cares for more than 700 items, donated in 1971 by Henry Evans, who published many of Barton’s fluid and fantastical line drawings. During the exhibition’s three-month run, the museum welcomed 47,634 visitors. Among them were respected art critics who weighed in on a show about an artist unknown to them. New York Times’s Art critic Walker Mimms(opens in a new tab) described the show as a “triumphant rediscovery” as it marked the museum debut of Barton 30 years after his death in 1992. Critics from The New Yorker(opens in a new tab), The New York Review of Books(opens in a new tab), Hyperallergic(opens in a new tab), The Nation(opens in a new tab) and other publications joined the conversation, celebrating Barton’s work, which was primarily inspired by his life and surroundings in San Francisco.

The Barton loan was among 19 requests the Library granted this past year to cultural heritage organizations and museums, including loans to the Phoenix Art Museum, SFMOMA and institutions in UCLA’s own backyard. At the Getty Center, the exhibition “Flesh and Bones: The Art of Anatomy”(opens in a new tab) featured a dozen anatomical illustrations from Library Special Collections. The UCLA Fowler and Hammer museums, LACMA, the Japanese American National Museum and the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles also featured materials from Library collections.

— New York Times’s Art critic Walker Mimms described the show as a “triumphant rediscovery” as it marked the museum debut of Barton 30 years after his death in 1992.

The Film & Television Archive loans program was kept busy, completing 345 loan requests for film prints and digital exhibition copies from our motion picture collection. Films were screened across 26 U.S. and 23 international cities. Requestors included more than a dozen festivals, among them Toronto International Film Festival, Berlinale, Helsinki International Film Festival, Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Outfest LA Film Festival, TCM Classic Film Festival and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Widely circulating since its restoration by the Archive in 2010, Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970)(opens in a new tab) is the most requested print, having been sent to over 126 theaters around the world. Considered a feminist masterpiece and one of the 100 greatest American films ever made, Wanda has emerged as a major inspiration for a new generation of artists, writers and even fashion designers. The Archive’s restoration, completed in cooperation with Televentures Corporation and Parlour Pictures, brought new life to the film. Wanda was one of 25 films added to the National Film Registry in 2017, designated for preservation because of its cultural significance.

Digital Libraries: Building Accessible Collections

UCLA Library provides free public access to a growing collection of objects digitized from our physical collections as well as born-digital materials. The work to make these materials viewable is managed by the Digital Library Program, which this year added nearly half a million items to UCLA Library Digital Collections(opens in a new tab) — an increase of 13 percent. This brought the total number of viewable items to 3.7 million this year.

— The work to make these materials viewable is managed by the Digital Library Program, which this year added nearly half a million items to UCLA Library Digital Collections — an increase of 13 percent.

Integrated within the Digital Library Program is the Modern Endangered Archives Program(opens in a new tab) (MEAP), which helps cultural heritage organizations and archives outside of North America and Europe preserve collections considered at risk. MEAP offers organizations grants to coordinate and carry out the digitization of primary source materials from the 20th and 21st centuries. These materials include everything from sound recordings to still images. For audio-visual materials, Library preservation specialists are consulted to help collaborators make best practice AV preservation choices. The Digital Library Program then makes the collections available online, expanding the Library’s ability to build accessible collections on a global scale with international partners while also allowing these materials to support research and teaching on campus and beyond. This year, DLP published 12 MEAP collections featuring thousands of items ranging from Albanian photographs(opens in a new tab) to newsreel footage(opens in a new tab) in the Dominican Republic to ledgers and business records(opens in a new tab) from a Brazilian plantation.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive’s YouTube channel(opens in a new tab) is the interface that provides free public access to selections from its moving image collections and archived public conversations. Views between September 2021 and August 2022 topped half a million, at 513,879. Newly added programs included 177 episodes from Get Used to It (1992-2012), a public affairs talk show hosted by Sheila Kuehl that addressed national and local issues important to the LGBTQ+ community; the Spanish and English versions of the unvarnished eyewitness documentary Chicano Moratorium: A Question of Freedom (1970); before-and-after restoration clips of All That Money Can Buy (1940), and several recently restored UCLA student films made in the 1960s by Ray Manzarek, a future member of The Doors.

Media Licensing: Advancing Knowledge Creation

Of the 156 media licenses issued by the Film & Television Archive and the UCLA Library this year, the Archive licensed historical footage to 104 projects for the big screen, museums and television. Among the projects featuring Archive footage are a PBS biographic film on Ernest Hemingway and the PBS series The U.S. and the Holocaust, directed and produced by Emmy award-winning documentarian Ken Burns. Other productions using Archive materials include Showtime’s The First Lady, an Emmy-nominated series about Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as a National Geographic documentary on Anthony Fauci.

— The Archive licensed historical footage to 104 projects for the big screen, museums and television.

UCLA Library issued 51 licenses this year, ranging from oral histories to photographs. Oral history licenses are especially popular amongst podcast creators, and the Los Angeles Times Photographic Collection (1918-1990) makes up another significant portion of requests. This collection includes millions of items documenting the history of California over the last century, with more than 20,000 items viewable online. The Library also issued licenses for less common categories of work — including the blueprints of the Tower Theatre, which opened in 1927 in the Broadway Theater District in Downtown Los Angeles. In 2021, when Apple converted the historic movie theater into a store, the tech company paid for the conservation of the prints. In return, Library Special Collections provided digital copies of the blueprints, which Apple printed and hung in the store, ensuring the original configuration of the building is memorialized.

Tours: Disseminating Hallmark Pieces of Queer Cinema

Besides its regular screenings at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, the UCLA Film & Television Archive extends its programming by packaging series for travel to national and international archives, museums, universities and film festivals. This year, following the Archive’s successful exhibition of Pioneers of Queer Cinema(opens in a new tab), the set of films — curated by the Archive, IndieCollect and Outfest — traveled from New York to Chicago, with tour dates(opens in a new tab) also scheduled at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and Ohio State University’s Wexner Center for the Arts. While on tour, the 33-film series has introduced viewers to hallmark pieces of queer cinema and their creators, with films drawn primarily from the collection of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the largest publicly accessible archive of LGBTQ+ moving image media in the world.

The Library is currently considering opportunities to develop a tour package for materials from its Rick Barton Collection, following the Morgan Library & Museum’s exhibition(opens in a new tab) this past summer.

To learn more about the UCLA Library and its programs, please visit our website(opens in a new tab).

Image (detail): Rick Barton (1928-1992), Academia San Carlos, September 1960, Pen and ink; Rick Barton papers (Collection 2374), UCLA Library Special Collections.

Read 2021-2022 UCLA Library Impact Report(opens in a new tab)