Academic Support

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Request Research Appointment

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

We highly encourage scheduling a research appointment 1-week in advance, but walk-ins may be accommodated depending on the materials requested.

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.

Planning a Class Visit or Tour

Special Collections 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 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 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.


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

Guest parking is available in Lot 5 and Structure C (1st level and rooftop). View the Interactive Campus Map.

For parking information, view Daily Permit Rates or consider 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.

Search Tools

To browse Cal State LA collections and archival materials, get started with these search tools:

  • One Search is an intuitive, central interface that provides access to print electronic, and digital collections across all California State University (SCU) 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.