Programs and Projects
Center for Primary Research and Training
The UCLA Library created the Center for Primary Research and Training to integrate special collections materials more fully into the teaching and research mission of the university. The center provides a substantive educational experience for graduate students by training them in archival methods, while simultaneously making accessible lesser-known collections through the creation of finding aids, or guides. It was launched with a generous lead gift from the Ahmanson Foundation.
Recognizing that many faculty in the social sciences, humanities, and visual arts want to give their students experience with primary sources and that many graduate students are looking for original subjects for theses and dissertations, the center pairs students with unprocessed or under-processed collections in their areas of interest. Students have access to materials that others have not yet fully investigated, and their training in archival organization and description results in making those collections more accessible to other researchers. They are compensated at a rate competitive with similar on-campus employment options such as teaching and research assistantships.
Collecting Los Angeles
"Collecting Los Angeles" gathers, preserves, interprets and makes accessible UCLA Library collections documenting the remarkable multiplicity of cultures and at-risk hidden histories of the Los Angeles region. This innovative project builds on the Library’s existing strengths in special collections, photo archives, oral histories, maps, books, and circulating materials that reflect the history, communities, culture, and civic life in Southern California. It was established with funding from a $5-million, five-year gift given by the Arcadia Fund to support transformational changes in UCLA Library collections and in the services that support them.
History of the Book
The History of the Book is a networked resource focused on the production and reception of materials related to the history of the book and literacy technologies, broadly conceived. This ongoing project is being developed by Information Studies Professor Johanna Drucker, working with staff and students based at UCLA to provide an online environment for research and learning. History of the Book showcases a number of UCLA Library's rich rare book holdings and is the result of close partnerships between the Information Studies Department, Library Special Collections, and the Digital Library. The project is pedagogical in its aims, but also, in its method. Some of the exhibit materials were developed by students in the MLIS program in Information Studies at UCLA, and some by faculty or research scholars.
Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform
In partnership with Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio, UCLA Library Special Collections developed the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform in commemoration of the Aqueduct’s centennial, November 5, 2013. The platform provides access to digitized archival resources from UCLA Library Special Collections, including photographs, documents, maps, and pamphlets. Featuring original scholarship from graduate students in the Center for Primary Research and Training, a program in UCLA Library Special Collections, the platform serves as a space where scholars, writers, and students share research that contextualizes the Aqueduct’s historical, social, political, and environmental impact on California and the nation.
The platform will also provide access to more than 2000 archival resource descriptions from six California institutions: Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center; Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, The Claremont Colleges and the Claremont Colleges Digital Library; Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge; Eastern California Museum; William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University; and UC Riverside Libraries, Water Resources Collections and Archives. Incorporating these resources into the Los Angeles Aqueduct Digital Platform enables users to search across the holdings of multiple repositories to discover archival materials.