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Support & Services

Support and Services

As part of our commitment to research, teaching and creative scholarship, Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives offers a series of Academic Support Services from research appointments and consultations to instructions sessions and tours. Our Fee-Based Services include duplication, publication, and distance research requests.

Plan Your Visit

Request Research Appointment

Special Collections and Archives materials are available for research by students, staff, and faculty, as well as the public.

We highly encourage scheduling a research appointment 1-week in advance. Walk-ins may be accommodated depending on the materials requested and the availability of staff to fulfill the request.

Use Online Archive of California (OAC) to browse collection guides of all the available collections at Cal State LA.

To schedule an appointment, please fill out the Research Appointment Application.

Once your request has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email within 2-3 business days. Not all requests are guaranteed. Research visit confirmation is subject to the status of the collection(s), as well as staff and reading room availability.

Research Appointment
Students conducting research for an upcoming paper

Request a Research Consultation

For in-depth research help, schedule a Research Consultation for one-on-one or small group assistance with a Special Collections Librarian.

All appointment requests should be made at least 1-week in advance as Research Consultations cannot be guaranteed to walk-ins.

To schedule an appointment, please fill out the Research Consultation Form.

Directions/Parking

Special Collections and Archives is located in the Palmer Wing of the University Library, 2nd floor, room 2079.

Please see Visitor Parking for information about available lots, daily parking rates, and alternative transportation methods.

Directions and Parking
Cal State LA is the first and only Los Angeles university with its own Metrolink station on campus, which opened in 1994.

Plan Your Class Session

Special Collections and Archives Librarians welcome the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and community groups. We focus on providing hands-on learning experiences and developing skills in evaluating and using primary sources. We work with faculty to develop course-specific projects and assignments that encourage student engagement with special collections and archival materials.

We are located in the Palmer Wing of the University Library, 2nd floor, room 2079.

Possible sessions include:

  • Introduction to Special Collections & Archives
  • Assignment Specific Instruction
  • Primary Source Analysis
  • Assignment Consultations
  • Special Collections & Archives Tours
  • Exhibit Preparation Workshop
Collection Tours
Student assistants facilitating tours of the Reading Room and Peruvian Textiles collection.

Request an Instruction Session

To help us prepare for class visits, we require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and a completed Instruction Request Form.

After submitting your request, please allow 2-3 business days for confirmation.

The Special Collections and Archives Reading Room accommodates a maximum of 20 students at a time as we believe smaller class sessions are more conducive to an interactive and hands-on experience. If your class is larger than 20 students, we are happy to schedule two separate sessions.

Instruction Session
Students analyze primary sources in class sessions tailored to their syllabus

Independent Study

The Special Collections and Archives Reading Room is a unique, hybrid space open to all students, faculty, and staff for archival research as well as independent study.

Stop by to view our exhibits and displays, too!

Due to class sessions and special events, the reading room may be closed intermittently throughout the semester. Signage will be posted accordingly.

Independent Study
Special Collections Reading Room is open for independent study and features tables as well as soft seating.

Search Tools

Cal State LA Special Collections and ARchives are composed of rare books, journals, digital, and archival collections. To browse our collections, get started with these search tools:

  • One Search is an intuitive, central interface that provides access to print and digital collections across all California State University (CSU) libraries. You can search for rare books and journals located in Special Collections and Archives by conducting an Advanced Search. Type in your Subject/Keyword and click on search. On the left-hand side, filter the location of results to "Special Collections."
  • Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California. Here you can browse collection guides of all the available collections at Cal State LA.
  • Dspace is an open-source digital repository that preserves and provides access to digital collections created by the Cal State LA community. If you know which collection you want to browse, simply select the collection title on the main page. Additional search methods include typing your subject/keyword in the search box (top right-hand corner) or selecting predetermined subject links or item types.
  • Luna is our asset management system and digital repository for digital version of Special Collections and Archives materials.
  • Omeka is our digital exhibit and oral history platform.

To further assist you with your primary source research, the University Library subscribes to several databases for Newspaper/Magazines and Primary Sources.

Services

Services
A student assistant fulfilling a high-quality image request.

Reproductions Services

  • Basic Scan Requests can be made for copies of archival materials and rare books - these files are to be used for personal research use only. The first 20 pages of every request are free of charge and fees will be charged for each page thereafter. The only exception to this policy is for copies of Theses and Dissertations which will be scanned in their entirety free of charge. Copies of materials will be provided in a PDF via email.
  • High Quality Scans are scanned at a high resolution and are provided for use in exhibits, publications, videos, displays, etc. These requests are contingent on the researcher securing permission from copyright holders if Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives does not own the copyright. Delivery of files can be expected via email containing a link to download the from a file transferring website known as WeTransfer.com.
  • Large or Oversized Materials larger than 11x17 inches (i.e., posters and maps) are generally too big to be scanned utilizing the standard equipment therefore requests for reproductions often require extra setup and labor including time to prep the materials. For example, a map that has been folded and stored for years needs to be gently unfolded and flattened for a few days before scanning can occur. Fees for such reproductions will be charged based on the time it takes to complete the request.
  • Please contact SpecialCollections@calstatela.edu to enquire about our reproduction fees

Publication

Any researcher wishing to publish from Special Collections & Archives materials agrees to obtain permission from the Cal State LA, from holders of copyright, and from other interested parties as applicable. The researcher also agrees to accept responsibility for complying with legislation enacted to protect copyright and the right to privacy.

Please contact SpecialCollections@calstatela.edu to enquire about our reproduction fees

Distance Research

Researchers who are unable to visit the archives in person may request SCA staff conduct research on their behalf.

Please contact SpecialCollections@calstatela.edu to enquire about our reproduction fees