Special Libraries

Special libraries exist to serve a finite public - a company, association, or audience. Those listed below are accessible to the general public. The library's pages define its users and steps to be taken to use its facilities.

Margaret Herrick Library


Margaret Herrick Library
Center for Motion Picture Study
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
333 South La Cienega Boulevard.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Contact Us


Telephone reference and additional library information may be obtained by calling 310-247-3020 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About the Library


"The Margaret Herrick Library collects a wide range of materials documenting film as both an art form and an industry. One of the world's most extensive and comprehensive research and reference collections includes more than 20,000 books; 1,400+ periodical titles; 60,000+ screenplays; 200,000+ clipping files; 15,000+ posters; lobby cards, press books and other advertising ephemera; over 6 million photographs; over 300 manuscript and other special collections relating to prominent industry individuals, studios and organizations; sheet music, music scores and sound recordings; production and costume sketches; artifacts; and oral histories."

Louis B. Mayer Library


Louis B. Mayer Library
The American Film Institute
2021 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: 323-856-7600

About the Library


Founded in 1969, the Louis B. Mayer Library is designed and devoted to serve the research needs of the staff of the American Film Institute and the faculty and fellows of the AFI Conservatory. The library is also available on a non-circulating basis to visiting scholars, researchers, and advanced graduate students, as well as members of the entertainment industry.

The library holds books and periodicals and other special collections covering various aspects of motion pictures and television.

Balch Art Research Library


Balch Art Research Library
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: 323-857-6118

About the Library


The Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library primarily supports internal research and documentation of art objects in the museum's collection for museum exhibitions and proposed acquisitions. The library also maintains an extensive research level collection in art history and related areas, which is available to outside users by appointment. The Balch Art Research Library contains approximately 150,000 books and periodical volumes and 30,000 auction catalogs, including:
  • Art reference books (biographical, library catalogs, dictionaries, etc.)
  • Auction and sale catalogs
  • Collection and exhibition catalogs of museums, galleries, and private collectors
  • Monographs on artists and specialized art subjects
  • One-artist file exhibition announcements, catalogs, and other ephemera
  • Scholarly periodicals in the field of art and related areas
  • Supportive material in related fields of study, e.g., religion, philosophy, history, literature, conservation and restoration, and museum studies

Research Library


Research Library
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Boulevard.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Phone: 213-763-3388 or 213-763-3387

About the Collection


Collection includes 105,000 books and 125,000 periodical volumes.

Also housed at the museum:

Seaver Center for Western History Research


Seaver Center for Western History Research

About the Center


The purpose of the Seaver Center for Western History Research is to collect, preserve, and make available to the general public research materials documenting the history of the trans-Mississippi West with special emphasis on Southern California and Los Angeles. The Seaver Center is located in the center of the Ground Floor next to the California History Hall and is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, by appointment only. As study space is limited, reservations are essential. Please contact the Seaver Center at 213-763-3359 to discuss your research interest and to schedule an appointment.

Autry Museum of Western Heritage Research Center


Autry Museum of Western Heritage Research Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, California 90027-1462
Phone: 323-667-2000

About the Collection


The research center's collections contain both primary and secondary sources, and are particularly strong in the mass-produced imagery that has advertised the American West worldwide. Strengths focus upon aspects of invented Wests, including pulp and popular fiction, Wild West Shows, rodeo, melodrama, motion pictures, television, radio, music, travel and tourism, and advertising. A major strength is documentation of the material culture of the West, and of the fictional West. Portrayals of women and racial and ethnic groups is an area of strong interest.

Getty Research Institute Research Library


Getty Research Institute Research Library
The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1687
Phone: 310-440-7390

About the Library


Bringing together a library, special collections, and a photo study collection, the Research Library housed in the Getty Research Institute contains materials relevant to the history of art, architecture, world cultures, and disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The collections are strongest in the history of Western art; however, in recent years, the Research Library has expanded its reach to include areas that have had significant cultural contact and exchange with Europe, such as North and South America, the ancient near East, and the Islamic world.

Writer's Guild of America Library


Writer's Guild of America Library
7000 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 323-951-4000

About the Library


The Writers Guild Foundation Library is the only library devoted primarily to film and television writing. The core of its script collection is those scripts which have either been nominated or received awards for writing, while the library also collects works which have otherwise earned distinction. The scripts include those from classic television shows like All in the Family, the original Star Trek series (on NBC), to more recently, The Sopranos, The West Wing and story outlines of Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Motion picture scripts include such past and current classics as Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, All About Eve, Chinatown, The Godfather, Unforgiven, Shrek and many, many others. The Writers Guild Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization established in 1966 to support and promote excellence in writing, to preserve the history of screenwriting as an art form and to provide educational assistance and opportunities for professional writers and students alike.


Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens


Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, CA 91108
Phone: 626-405-2100

About the Library


For qualified scholars, the Huntington Library is one of the largest and most complete research libraries in the United States in its fields of specialization. Collections include rare books and manuscripts principally in the areas of British and American history and literature, 15th century European books, history of science, maritime history, and Renaissance exploration and cartography. Altogether there are about five million items available for research. We welcome inquiries of a scholarly nature, but our ability to respond to general reference questions is extremely limited. You may contact the Reader Services Department for more information. The research library is not open to the general public. However, the public is invited to the Library Exhibition Halls, which have on display some of the finest rare books and manuscripts of Anglo-American civilization. Among the treasures of the library on exhibit are the Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible on vellum, the double-elephant folio edition of Audubon's Birds of America, and an unsurpassed collection of the early editions of Shakespeare's works. The hours of admission for the Exhibition Halls can be found on our general information page.