Superlative Collections in International Demand

Image of Christ Reading in the Synagogue from the Gladzor GospelsScholars travel thousands of miles to use UCLA Library resources in their work. For example, recent recipients of research fellowships explored the correspondence of a Civil War general instrumental in the growth of Los Angeles, the papers of contemporary artist R. B. Kitaj, and texts printed by sixteenth-century printers in Venice that produced women’s literature.

Curators from museums and cultural institutions around the world also find UCLA Library materials essential to fully explore complex themes in high-profile exhibitions. The Library agrees to their requests for exhibition loans whenever the condition of the item (see related sidebar) and UCLA teaching and research needs allow.

The magnificently illustrated religious work known as the Gladzor Gospels forms a cornerstone of the Library’s renowned collection of Near Eastern manuscripts, which is among the largest in the U.S. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York borrowed several leaves from the Gospels for the major exhibition “Armenia!”

UCLA grew up alongside Hollywood, and the Library’s television- and film-related collections are in high demand by creators and scholars alike. The recently opened National Comedy Center, which celebrates “comedy’s great minds and unique voices,” borrowed several scripts from Friends, The Golden Girls, and Seinfeld for its inaugural “living room” installation.

The work of French filmmaker Jean Renoir influenced directors including François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, but he was in turn influenced by his own father, painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. To explore the complex relationship between these two as well as between painting and film, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris borrowed several of Jean Renoir’s notebooks (pictured below) for “Renoir: Father and Son/Painting and Cinema.”

Local institutions also borrow Library holdings ranging from the medieval to the modern. La Plaza de Cultura y Arte in downtown Los Angeles presents “¡Ya Basta! The East LA Walkouts and the Power of Protest.” Several documents from the Library’s rich documentation of Los Angeles history help bring the story of this important moment in the history of civil rights to new generations.

And at UCLA’s neighbor the Getty Museum, “The Renaissance Nude” will include a book by Albrecht Dürer and an example of early printing from UCLA Library Special Collections. This exhibition traces the conflict that arose between a desire to depict nude figures in art in a more lifelike manner and the pious nature of European society.