The USC Libraries are among the oldest private academic research libraries in California. For more than a century USC has been building collections in support of the university's teaching and research interests. Especially noteworthy collections include American literature, Cinema-Television including the Warner Bros. studio archives, European philosophy, gerontology, German exile literature, international relations, Korean studies, studies of Latin America, natural history, Southern California history, and the University Archives.
The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute focuses on the history of art, architecture, and archaeology with relevant materials in the humanities and social sciences. The range of the collections begins with prehistory and extends to contemporary art. Presently, the collections are strongest in the history of western European art and culture in Europe and North America; however, in recent years, they have expanded to include other areas, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, and selected regions of Asia.
The Library collections range in time period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. The greatest concentration is in the English Renaissance, about 1500 to 1641; other strengths include medieval manuscripts, incunabula (books printed before 1501), maps, travel literature, British and American history and literature, the American Southwest, and the history of science, medicine and technology.
Every year more than 1,700 scholars come from all over the world to study these rare materials. The results of their work are published in books, journals, and textbooks for colleges and universities.