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 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

The Index of Christian Art becomes the Index of Medieval Art

Princeton University recently announced that their venerable Index of Christian Art officially changed its name to the Index of Medieval Art as of July 1, 2017. The name was changed to more accurately reflect the current content. The Index covers multiple medieval faith traditions, including Jewish and Islamic art and both religious and secular imagery, from early apostolic times until the 16th century.

The Index of Medieval Art was founded by Princeton Professor Charles Rufus Morey in 1917 and is the largest archive of medieval art in the world. At present, it offers access to approximately 200,000 images and related information in a physical index; about half of these currently also exist in an online subscription database.

The Getty Research Institute Library provides online access to the Index’s database, which is available on-site. In addition, the Research Library is one of only four institutions in the world to hold a repository copy of the physical Index, which includes Subject and Photographic files.

Coat of Arms Held by a Woman and a Greyhound, Jean Fouquet, 1455. Hours of Simon de Varie. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 85.ML.27.2v

The physical Index is conveniently located adjacent to the medieval section of the Photo Archive on the L3 level of the Research Library. The Photo Archive houses approximately 176,000 photographs representing medieval architecture, sculpture, panel painting, illuminated manuscripts, and minor arts. Cross-references can be made between the Photo Archive and the Index. For example, cataloguing data from both archives can be used to identify and locate images and information in both collections. A copy of the Index of Jewish Art is also shelved nearby.

First-time users of the Index or the Photo Archive are strongly encouraged to contact us to arrange an orientation.

-Tracey Schuster, Head of Permissions and Photo Archive Services

Potential delays in processing requests from the Library Annex

Due to a large book move, requests for materials from the Library Annex may be delayed by a day or two beginning July 17, through September 1, 2017.

As a reminder, the regular schedule for requesting and receiving materials may be found on our website.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please contact Circulation at

SCIPIO Art and Rare Book Sales Catalogs

The easiest way to find an auction catalog held by the Research Library is to do a keyword search in Primo Search by entering the auction date in the YYYYMMDD format, e.g., 19420618 for June 18, 1942. If we do not have the auction catalog, the best place to search for a copy is in the SCIPIO database.

SCIPIO, available onsite at the Research Library, contains bibliographic records for over 300,000 sales catalogs held by 25 institutions worldwide and is updated daily. The database includes catalogs spanning from the late 16th century to the present from all major North American and European auction houses as well as important private sales. Records contain information on dates and places of sale, catalog title, the auction house, sellers, institutional holdings, and other information.

A link to SCIPIO can be found in Primo Search, the Article and Research Database A-Z list and Art Sales and Collecting list, or it can be searched through the Art Discovery Group Catalogue.

One of the easiest ways to search in SCIPIO is by date. The date is entered in the MMDDYYYY format. One can also search for sales within a specific month (MMYYYY) or within a date range, by using a hyphen between the years (YYYY-YYYY), the months and years (MMYYYY-MMYYYY), or the complete dates (MMDDYYYY-MMDDYYYY). Dates can be combined with other search terms such as auction house or title word.

– Lois White, Head of Research Services

New Acquisitions: 20th century Italian architecture periodicals

Reference librarians at the Research Library wear many hats. For me, one of the most enjoyable duties of the past year has been working in tandem with Maristella Casciato, the Getty Research Institute’s senior curator for architectural collections, to identify gaps in the library’s architectural holdings.

The library’s collections were originally formed through the acquisition of personal libraries of important scholars such as Ulrich Middeldorf, Erwin Panofsky, and Nikolaus Pevsner, among others. While this has provided a solid foundation upon which to build, there will always be areas that need to be filled in either because we didn’t have the opportunity to acquire them earlier or because their historical importance was not immediately clear.

Recently, one of the areas we are strengthening is 20th century Italian architectural periodical holdings. While this is an ongoing process, we have made significant progress through both piecemeal purchasing and the acquisition of collections. We hope our recently expanded holdings of the following titles will allow for a more comprehensive research experience.

L’Architettura (Milano)

Le Arti (Milano)

Casabella (Milano)

Casabella continuità (Milano)

Comunità (Milano)

Controspazio (Bari)

Domus (Milano)

Inpiù (Milano)

Marcatrè (Genova/Milano)

Quaderni di architettura (Roma)

-Aimee Lind, Reference Librarian