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Research Guide to Archives and Special Collections

Find Art and Artifacts, Audiovisual, and Postcard Collections

These basic collection lists offer a starting point for research. Please contact us for more information.

Find CSLA and Manuscript Collections

Search the Online Archive of California (OAC) for collection guides.

Center for the Study of Los Angeles (CSLA) Research Collections and most of the Manuscript Collections can be searched via collection guides on the OAC. A collection guide, also known as finding aid, describes the materials in an archival collection. It helps researchers understand and navigate what is in a collection. Entire collection guides are available for view as PDF and HTML. 

To view a list of materials in an archival collection, look for the "Box and Folder List." 

Example of a collection guide in Online Archive of California

In the Box and Folder List, detailed descriptions are available. To request archival materials for a research appointment, please note the collection name and number, series number(s), and the box number(s). 

Example of box and folder list on a collection guide

Find University Archives

For University Archives, search the Online Archive of California for collection guides and the LMU University Archives inventories

Collection Guides

Some University Archives collection guides can be searched on the Online Archive of California. In a collection guide, the Collection Overview describes the materials in an archival collection. An entire collection guide is available for view as PDF and HTML. In a PDF or HTML Collection Guide, a link to the collection container list is at the bottom of the last page.

Example of a collection guide in Online Archive of California

Each container list includes a table of contents for navigation, as well as box and folder numbers with content descriptions. Container lists are text searchable for specific terms, names, or dates. To make a research appointment, please note the collection name and box number(s) that contain the materials you want to see.

Example of a container list in a PDF collection guide


LMU University Archives Inventories

Most University Archives collections are described in inventories. These inventories often include a table of contents and a list of collection materials. Inventories are text searchable using specific terms, names, or dates.

Box numbers are listed in brackets above the list of materials. 

Example of an University Archive inventory