A Smartphone Trick for Viewing Negatives

We allow researchers to use their smartphone cameras to take study images of material during their visits in our Special Collections Reading Room. Many of our library visitors benefit from this opportunity to snap photos to aid them in their research.

The trusty smartphone has a handy trick in its settings features that can also help researchers to view negative film in positive colors. We tried it out and were quite pleased with the results.


By enabling “Color Inversion”, “Invert Colors,” or “Negative Colors” under your phone’s “Accessibility” setting, the camera turns into a viewer that allows photographic negatives to be viewed as positives. The path to navigate to the color inversion setting on your phone will vary based the phone’s operating system (iOS or Android).

We were having so much fun experimenting that we wanted to delve into our collections to test it out some more.

These are negatives of Pierre Koenig’s Case Study House No. 22 (1960) from the Julius Shulman Photography Archive.


And here is the positive with the color inversion setting “On.”



The next time you are in the Reading Room and need to take a look at a negative, hopefully you’ll give it a try. If you can’t wait until your next appointment to try it out, you can Google “negative film” and then click on “Images” and hold up your phone to the computer screen.

If you use any other handy smartphone tricks while researching in the archive, please share it with us in the comments!

-Sarah Sherman, Reference Librarian

Research Library Holiday Closure Dates

This year, the Research Library will be closed starting at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 22 and during the following holiday period:

December 23-January 1

The library will resume regular hours on Monday, January 2.

Extended Readers may still use the library during the closure, with the exception of December 25, December 26, and January 1. (NOTE: the library will close at 5:00 p.m. on December 24 and December 31.) However, library services and staff, including Circulation, Reference, and the Special Collections Reading Room, will not be available.

Library access during Thanksgiving weekend

The Research Library will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, and will reopen at 9:30 a.m. Monday, November 28.

While the library will be closed to all readers on Thursday, November 24, Extended Readers may still use the library until 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, all day on Friday, November 25, and throughout the weekend. However, library services and staff, including Circulation, Reference, and the Special Collections Reading Room, will not be available.

New e-resource: World’s Fairs: a global history of expositions

To complement the Research Library’s extensive holdings on world’s fairs and expositions, we have recently acquired a new database compiled by Adam Matthew Digital, World’s Fairs: a global history of expositions. Access is available to on-site library readers, Getty staff, and Getty scholars.

This database provides digital access to primary source material collated from thirteen archives in North America, the U.K., and France. Material includes pamphlets, guide books, official catalogues, periodicals, minutes, and correspondence. There is also a selection of visual material including maps, photographs, postcards, and illustrations.

Opening of the Great Exhibition, London, May 1, 1851. 1851. © The Victoria and Albert Museum
Opening of the Great Exhibition, London, May 1, 1851. 1851. © The Victoria and Albert Museum

While over 200 hundred fairs are represented, most material relates to the following fairs:

• 1851 Great Exhibition, London
• 1876 Philadelphia Centennial International Exhibition
• 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle
• 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition
• 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis
• 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco
• 1933/34 Chicago Century of Progress International Exposition
• 1939/40 New York World’s Fair
• 1967 Expo ’67 Montreal

To explore the library’s holdings on any of these fairs, go to Primo Search. For example, searching “1889 Paris Exposition Universelle” yields over 140 results, including 56 titles from our Special Collections, some of which have been digitized.

For assistance with this database or Primo Search call or visit the Reference Desk.

-Susan Flanagan, Collection Development Librarian for Electronic Resources

Getty Center Drive Closed: 11/14 at 1:30 pm to 11/15 at 9:00 am

Beginning on Monday November 14, at 1:30 pm and continuing through Tuesday morning at 9:00 am, Getty Center Drive will be closed to incoming vehicles.

All incoming vehicles will need to enter via the South Gate on N. Church Lane during this period. See map below.

Research Library Readers should then proceed to the main parking garage.


Books related to The Art of Alchemy exhibition

Need to conjure up additional alchemy? A selection of books is now available in the Research Library’s Plaza Reading Room to accompany the Research Institute’s current exhibition The Art of Alchemy. The books will be on reserve in this location through February 12, 2017.

A list of the titles is available in Primo Search.


These books also complement the items – magically! – digitized in The Getty Alchemy Collection and the Manly Palmer Hall collection of alchemical manuscripts, circa 1500-1825.

– Aimee Calfin, Senior Research Services Assistant

L.A. as Subject’s 11th Annual Archives Bazaar, October 15

Are you curious about archival resources relating to the greater Los Angeles region? Join us and 86 other local institutions* for a day devoted to celebrating Los Angeles history at the 11th 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 15, 2016 from 9:00 am – 5:00pm.


The Getty Research Institute is proud to have been involved in L.A. as Subject from the beginning. Our own Karen Stokes conceived and directed the initial research project which worked to uncover hidden collections, resulting in the 1999 publication Cultural Inheritance/L.A.: A Directory of Less-Visible Archives and Collections in the Los Angeles Region.

The Archives Bazaar provides a unique opportunity for libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and private collectors to interact with the public and one another, promoting their Los Angeles area collections.

ArchivesBazaar2 The Getty Research Institute table at the 7th Annual Archives Bazaar, 2012.

In addition to a spectacular slate of exhibitors, this year’s robust schedule of programming will include workshops devoted to primary source research, personal digital archiving, and preservation, as well as lectures on people and events important to our collective regional history.

View the full schedule here: http://laassubject.org/archives-bazaar

We hope to see you there!

-Aimee Lind, Reference Librarian

*List of exhibitors:
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Angel City Press
Angelus Matchcover Club
Artcenter College of Design Archives
Ayn Rand Archives
The Baseball Reliquary
Boyle Heights Historical Society
California Historical Society
California Humanities
Cal Poly Pomona, Special Collections and University Archives
CSU Dominguez Hills, Archives
CSU Fullerton, Archives and Special Collections
CSU Fulllerton, Center for Oral and Public History
CSU Los Angeles, Special Collections and Archives
CSU Northridge, Special Collections and Archives
Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Chapman University, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives
Claremont Colleges, Special Collections
Cold War: L.A.
Compton 125 Historical Society
Culver City Historical Society
David Boulé California Orange Collection
Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum
Dora Nelson African American Art and History Museum
Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society
Filipino American Library
Friends of Banning Museum
Friends of Greystone Mansion
Gary Watkins Collection
Gazin Archive
Genealogical Society of Hispanic America, Southern California
Getty Research Institute
Glendale Library, Arts and Culture
Go for Broke National Education Center
Historical Society of Long Beach
Historical Society of Southern California
Hollywood Heritage, Inc.
LA84 Foundation
LA Meekly
The Lanterman House
Lauren Bon and the Metabolic Studio
Little Tokyo Historical Society
Long Beach Heritage Museum
Los Angeles City Archives
Los Angeles City Historical Society
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Balch Art Research Library
Los Angeles County Public Library Resource Centers
Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society
Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation
Los Angeles Metro Transportation Research Library and Archive
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Union Station Historical Society
Luna Imaging
Marina del Rey Historical Society
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
National Archives at Riverside
National Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Occidental College, Special Collections and College Archives
ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
Orange County Archives
Orange County Historical Society
Pacific Palisades Historical Society
Pasadena Digital History
Pepperdine University, Special Collections and University Archives
Petersen Automotive Museum, Robert E. Petersen Library and Research Center
San Fernando Valley Historical Society
Santa Monica History Museum
Santa Monica Public Library
Seaver Center for Western History Research
Silver Lake History Collective
Society of California Archivists
Southern California Genealogical Society and Research Library
UCLA Department of Geography, Thomas Air Photo Archives
UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive
UCLA Film & Television Archive
UCLA Library, Special Collections
UCSB Library
UCSB Special Research Collections
USC Digital Library
USC Libraries, Special Collections and Archives
Venice Heritage Foundation
Visual Communications
Wally G. Shidler Historical Collection of Southern California Ephemera
Whittier College, Institute for Baseball Studies
Whittier Public Library, History Room
Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum
Writers Guild Foundation Library and Archive