- Toward Ethical and Inclusive Descriptive Practices in UCLA Library Special Collections
- Content Advisory Policy
- Metadata Rights Statement
- Access to Unprocessed Collections Policy
- Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana
- James O. Page Collection
- Korean Special Collections
- LSC Heavy Metal Archive
- LSC Punk Archive
- Online Collections
- Online Exhibits
- Past Exhibits
- Research Guides
- United States Information Services Presents... UCLA (film trailer)
- Buddhist Churches of America Video
Have questions about your research?
We can help!
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 and catalog records in UC Library Search and WorldCat. The Online Archive of California, UC Library Search, and WorldCat are the primary portals used by LSC for the discovery of our stewarded materials. 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, collections 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.
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.
1. Baseline discovery + no access: Description about a collection can be searched for and found in our discovery portals, such as the Online Archive of California, UC Search, and WorldCat. However, the materials themselves are inaccessible for research and use.
a. These records will have the following language in the Conditions Governing Access note, "Unprocessed collection. Material is unavailable for access." Or “Unpublished inventory available; inquire at the UCLA Library Special Collections reference desk in the Charles E. Young Research Library.”
i. Note: Though a record indicates that an unpublished inventory is available, this does not imply the collection is accessible to users. This is language that is evidence of legacy practice. We are currently working to update this language, but users may still come across it.
b. Example record: David C. Copley collection of costume designs
2. Baseline access: Description of the collection can be searched for and found in our discovery portals, as described above. The collection has been physically stabilized for safe handling by users. Materials can be requested through LSC's Request System and accessed in the reading room. Description may provide minimal information about the material(s) or information for large aggregations/groupings of materials and may require more mediation by staff and users to find specific resources.
a. Example record: Janet Cunningham papers
3. Partial access: Description of the collection can be searched for and found in our discovery portals, as described above. Portions of the collection have been stabilized for safe handling by users. Materials can be requested through LSC's Request System and accessed in the reading room. Other portions of the collection may be restricted from access until there can be further preservation treatments, digitization, and/or processing can be undertaken. There may also be portions of collections where access is restricted due to federal laws and regulations, such as HIPAA and FERPA, so research protocols or permission must be granted in order to access the materials.
a. These records may have the following language in the Conditions Governing Access note, "Portions of this collection are restricted until [year]" or "Portions of collection unprocessed. Material in the [name of series/subseries] series/subseries is unavailable for access."
b. They may also include the following language in the Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note, "CONTAINS UNPROCESSED [AUDIO/AUDIOVISUAL/DIGITAL] MATERIALS: [Audio/audiovisual/digital] materials are not currently available for access and will require further processing and assessment."
c. They may also include the following language in the Conditions Governing Access or Availability notes, “In order to access materials that are protected under [HIPAA/FERPA] or for which there is confidential information, please submit a research protocol to Library Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
4. Full access: Description of the collection can be searched for and found in our discovery portals. The entire collection has been stabilized for handling and use by users. Materials can be requested through LSC's Request System and accessed in the reading room. Born-digital and audiovisual materials have been reformatted, and digital copies can also be requested for access through the LSC Request System or through the Library's digital library platform.
a. These records will have the following language in the Conditions Governing Access note, "Open for research."
i. Note: there are a number of legacy collections, which indicate they are “open for research” but which have audiovisual or born-digital materials that are not, in fact, open for research. We are working to ensure that we resolve this in our description, but the process takes time.
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.