Research Tips for Large Archival Collection Finding Aids

The size of our archival collections varies from one folder to over 3,000 boxes spanning almost 2,000 linear feet! The medium to large archives typically have finding aids, which are documents containing detailed information about collections. Our online finding aids are linked to Primo Search collection records. For very large collections, the finding aids can be also be quite massive.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when consulting online finding aids for large collections:

1. Some collections have two finding aids. When the descriptive information for a large collection is in one finding aid, it can make the document unwieldy and can be slow to load on your computer. To ease searching and management of large files of information, we may have created a separate finding aid for individual series. You can find examples of this practice with the Harald Szeemann papers, Series II. Artist Files and the Julius Shulman photography archive, Series IV. Job Numbers, 1935-2009.

2. Use the “print view” to read and search a finding aid. The print view allows you to scroll seamlessly through the contents of a finding aid. In some cases, it’s much easier to read a finding aid in this view. The print view also allows for keyword searching. To display a keyword search box use with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F on a PC or Command ⌘ + F on a Mac.

To access the print view, click “Print View” at the top right side of your screen.

The print view with the keyword search box displayed.

3. Proceed with caution if you want to print a finding aid. Larger finding aids may be several hundreds of pages in a print format. For example, the Harald Szeemann papers finding aids are equivalent to more than 1,400 pages!

If you have any additional tips for viewing and searching finding aids that makes your research easier, please share them in the comments below. We would enjoy hearing from you!

– Sarah Sherman, Reference Librarian

L.A. as Subject’s 12th annual Archives Bazaar, October 21

Join the Getty Research Institute Library and 90 other exhibitors for a day celebrating Los Angeles history at the 12th annual Archives Bazaar, presented by L.A. As Subject and the USC Libraries.

This free event will take place at the beautiful Doheny Memorial Library on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC), Saturday October 21, 2017 from 9:00 am – 5:00pm.

For a complete schedule of events, list of exhibitors, directions and parking information, visit https://laassubject.org/archives-bazaar

We hope to see you there!

-Sarah Sherman, Reference Librarian

Books related to exhibition The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830-1930

A selection of books is now available in the Research Library’s Plaza Reading Room to complement the Getty Research Institute’s current exhibition The Metropolis in Latin America, 1830–1930, one of four Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions at the Getty Center. These books will be on reserve in this location through January 7, 2018.

The full list of titles is available in Primo Search.

Aimee Calfin, Senior Research Services Assistant

New Acquisitions: Early Latin American History Library of James Lockhart

The working library of the late UCLA Professor Emeritus of early Latin American history James Lockhart, generously donated by his widow, is now available for use in the Research Library. Covering the history of Latin America from the 15th to the 18th century, the collection of over 900 volumes includes complete series and facsimiles of rare books and codices.

A selection of books from the James Lockhart Collection

The collection has particular strengths in Peru and Mexico. The published works on Peruvian history enhance the library’s holdings in the area of Latin America, and include several works relevant to studies of the Getty Murúa manuscript. Many volumes are related to the study of Nahuatl, the most widely spoken indigenous language of Central Mexico at the time of the Aztec empire and one that is still spoken today, of which Lockhart was among the world’s foremost experts. In general, the many works on Mexico and Nahuatl are relevant for contextualizing the existing areas of Mexican art, art history, archaeology, and anthropology in the library’s collection. A number of these volumes contain the added bonus of rich annotations by Lockhart that relate directly to his expertise.

Lockhart’s annotations. William H. Prescott, History of the conquest of Mexico; and History of the conquest of Peru (New York: Modern Library, 1939)

The full list of titles in the James Lockhart Collection is available in Primo Search.

-Kathleen Salomon, Associate Director and Chief Librarian

Focus on E-Resources: Latin American Newspapers, 1805-1922

Starting on September 15, Southern California will experience Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, an exploration of Latin American and Latino art in Los Angeles. To join in the celebration, we are pleased to announce the recent acquisition of an online database with more than 280 historic Latin American newspapers published between 1805 and 1922. The database is available for on-site library use.

The titles are from more than 20 countries and published in English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. The contents can be sorted by city, country, or publication date. Lists of notable titles for Series 1 (1805-1922) and Series 2 (1822-1922) are available for browsing.

The newspapers chronicle the evolution of Latin America through advertisements, editorials, eyewitness reporting, legislative information, letters, obituaries, poetry, and other items, offering a wide range of viewpoints from diverse Latin American cultures.

-Susan Flanagan, Collection Development Librarian for Electronic Resources

Applications Now Available for 2018 Getty Library Research Grants

Getty Library Research Grants provide partial support to researchers requiring the use of specific collection materials housed in the Research Library, and whose place of residence is more than 80 miles from the Getty Center.

Supporting grants ranging from $800 to $3,000 are available, depending upon the distance traveled, and can be used for research lasting several days to a maximum of three months. The funding for these grants has been generously supplemented by donations from Getty Research Institute Council members and the Getty Conservation Institute.

This year special grants targeting research in the art market, modern architecture, design, 18th-century German art, and conservation have been added.

The deadline to apply is October 16, 2017.

To learn more and download the application, visit the Getty Foundation web page.

Contact reference@getty.edu with any questions.

New Acquisitions: Ancient Near East Book and Journal Collection

The personal library of David Owen, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and current Curator of Tablet Collections at Cornell University, has been acquired by the Research Library.

This collection of over 3,250 titles of core antiquarian books and journals strengthens the Research Library’s holdings and lays the foundation for future collecting in the area of ancient Near East art and archaeology. A first-rate study collection within its field, it is especially rich in documentation and translation of ancient texts found throughout the region, including scrolls and tablets.

The full list of titles in the David Owen Ancient Near East Collection is available in Primo Search.

In addition, over 1,000 duplicate titles were donated to the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World Library at New York University, which is in the process of adding the books to their collection. For more information visit their library blog.

-James Cheney, Collection Development Librarian

Thursday, August 31: Moth treatment scheduled in the Research Library

An organic moth treatment has been scheduled for the entire Getty Research Institute building starting Thursday, August 31 at 11:00 p.m. All carpeted areas, including reader carrels, will be treated.

In preparation, please remove any items from the floor in your work area and place them on your desk, counter spaces, or shelves. These include boxes, paper, or any other materials that might obstruct access to the carpet. You do not need to worry about chairs, chair mats, or trash cans. Please also be certain you have removed any collection materials that might be on or near the floor.

If you have food items stored in your workspace, you should remove them prior to the treatment. If you are unable to do this, you may consider discarding these items when you return.

The building will re-open on Friday, September 1 (note that there will be intermittent noise associated with a follow-up vacuuming taking place throughout the building that day).

Current Periodicals in the Plaza Reading Room

The custom shelving in the Plaza Reading Room functions as space-saving storage for the current periodicals. The unique feature of these shelves is that they lift up to be able access additional issues.

While it may look like there are only single issues on the shelves, the next time you are perusing the titles don’t forget to take a peek at the shelves behind or above the titles to find earlier journals.

-Sarah Sherman, Reference Librarian