Resources at USC
Library collections at USC are devoted to a wide range of specialized topics, many of which are especially significant for historical research. A complete guide to the USC library collections is located at http://www.usc.edu/libraries/
Doheny Memorial Library, one of the oldest buildings on the USC campus, contains the largest collection of books on the USC campus, specializing in the fields of humanities and social sciences. It houses several specialized collections, including extensive micrographics holdings. Doheny is also home to the following collections:
- Boeckmann Center for Iberian & Latin American Studies. Unique on the West Coast, the Boeckmann Center serves as a link between the library's collections and services and the scholarly activities of faculty and students in the areas of Iberian, Latin American, and Chicano/Latino studies. The Center's materials include an 80,000-volume donation from Mr. and Mrs. Herbert F. Boeckmann II and several smaller distinguished collections, such as the Radell and Lorente Cuban and Cuban Exiles Studies Collections, and the Central American Research Institute Collection, formerly located in Berkeley. The Collection achieves its distinction by virtue of the geographical focus, the historical and chronological coverage, and the interdisciplinary and multilingual nature of its holding.
- Cinema-Television Library. The Cinema-TV Library is generally considered to be the finest collection of its kind in any academic library in the country. Its collection includes recorded interviews, scripts, films, 1.7 million photographs and 36 million manuscripts in its extensive archival collection.
- Government Documents. The Government Documents Department contains more than two million documents in print and microfiche. Print indexes to federal, California State, and Canadian government publications are located in the documents reading room. Access is also available to a wide variety of electronic resources.
- The Holocaust Studies Collection. The new collection on the Holocaust, its prehistory and its aftermath comprises more than 12.000 books and rare items. In addition to a vast amount of secondary literature, the collection includes hundreds of original Nazi books and pamphlets, transcribed interviews of displaced persons after the war, early prints of testimonies of survivors, early publications on the persecution and extermination of the Jews as well as original copies of the Nuremberg Trials: English transcripts and German documents of the Major War Criminals and of twelve U.S. military tribunals for war crimes against the foreign office, the killing squads, the army, the physicians etc. The material in English, German, Yiddish, Polish, Hebrew and other languages will allow further research on various aspects, as on anti-Semitism, the Nazi party, the actual persecution of the Jews in Europe and the aftermath of the Holocaust. The whole collection with its secondary literature on almost every aspect of the Holocaust (resistance, War, Nazi party, perpetrators, Ghettos, concentration camps, Jewish communities, religion, women, children, churches, art, on countries as France, Poland, Italy etc.) provides fundamental historical back round for every type of research as well as for undergraduate and graduate studies.
- Special Collections. The Department of Special Collections, the oldest institutional collection of rare materials in Southern California, oversees rare books, manuscripts, and historic photographs. It contains more than 130,000 volumes, 1.4 million manuscripts, and 1.3 million photographs. Its main areas of strength include regional history, German history and the émigré experience, American literature, aeronautical history, and natural history. The collections is especially notable for its discrete photographic collections which include the Hearst collection (1.2 million) dating from 1904-1961; the Whittington collection of 500,000 images of LA dating from 1925-60; and a digitized collection of 1000 images of Native Americans.
- Lion Feuchtwanger Memorial Library and Archives. The Feuchtwanger collection is contained within the Department of Special Collections. It provides a core body of materials that compliment the Institute for the Study of Jews in American Life. The collection includes unusually strong holdings that document German Jewish immigration to the United States and particularly to Southern California.
East Asian Library. The East Asian Library broadly supports the research and teaching needs of the East Asian faculty and students at USC and includes Chinese, Japanese, and Korean-language materials in all fields, but with an emphasis on social sciences and humanities. Several notable donations have been combined to comprise a core collection of Chinese materials: the Theodore H.E. Chen Collection, the Suski Collection, and the Tam Kai Chung Collection. One of the strongest parts of the Japanese collection derives from a period when USC was home to a concentration of specialists on Japanese leftist political parties. Since 1985, the main thrust of the East Asian Library has been to build the Korean Heritage Library, a strong research collection for Korean studies that has attained national and international stature.
Korean Heritage Library. Established in 1986, the Korean Heritage Library today contains more than 20,000 volumes of books and more than 1500 reels of microfilms in all subjects related to Korean history, society, and culture. Two particular emphases of the collection are published and archival materials relating to the history of the Korean Independence Movement and also the experience of Korean communities outside of the Korean peninsula. The Library has a large collection of major newspaper sets published in Korea, and has organized the microfilming of several Korean newspapers published in LA. As one of six founding members of the North American Korean Collections Consortium, the Library receives special funding from the Korea Foundation to build specialized research collections in Korean cinema, mass media, and Cholla provinces of Korea.
Electronic Archives. USC's Information Services Division contains several electronic archives. These are digital projects that highlight some of the wide variety of primary materials held by USC. They include:
- ISLA/Integrated Digital Archive of Los Angeles (IDA-LA) The Information System for Los Angeles/Integrated Digital Archive of Los Angeles is a "regional meta-collection" designed to digitally unite and provide web-based, open access to information owned and housed by many different regional institutions. IDA-LA is currently searchable by keyword, collection, and format, and includes photographs, historic documents and texts. ISLA will provide spatial searching capabilities.
- Los Angeles: Past, Present and Future. These pages use archival resources of USC's Regional History Collection to provide glimpses into LA's past and present.
- Making It in Los Angeles. The Department of Special Collections, in conjunction with the Getty Center, is a contributor to the Faces of LA project, a photographic Web site documenting the creative processes of LA artists of the past.
Gabriel and Matilda Barnett Information Technology Center and The Asa V. Call Law Library. The Law Library supports the scholarly needs of the USC community. Its collection is focused on California and United States legal and law-related materials but also contains materials from a variety of national and international jurisdictions. The collection includes both primary law materials (the actual laws and cases produced by legislative bodies, courts, and administrative agencies) as well as secondary sources (including journals, treatises, and looseleaf services), which provide explanations of the laws and scholarly commentaries and analysis of the law.
L.A. as Subject: The Transformative Culture of Los Angeles Communities. This is an on-line database hosted by USC. It consists of archival and collections holdings of a cross-section of institutions representing diverse sectors, communities, and cultures in LA that range from the Automobile Club of Southern California and Griffith Park Archives to the Public Utilities History Center, Ralph W. Miller Golf Library and Museum, St. Vincent Medical Center Historical Conservancy, and Western States Black Research and Educational Center. L.A. as Subject is an on-line companion to the Getty Institute's publication, Cultural Inheritance/L.A.: A Directory of Less Visible Archives and Collections in the Los Angeles Region. It provides a searchable guide to cultural materials held by local institutions and community groups. Included in the advisory board of local scholars who contributed their expertise to the content development of the directory were USC History Department Professors Philip J. Ethington and Kevin Starr, and Ph.D. Candidate Matthew Roth.
Leavey Library. The Leavey Library acquires and maintains a general collection of approximately 100,000 volumes of monographs and journals that lay the foundation for study in all academic programs. The collection is useful to graduate students who need general materials outside their area of specialization. Leavey also supports a full range of computing facilities for student use, including almost 200 computer stations. CD-ROM databases include Ethnic NewsWatch, full-text articles from the newspapers and magazines of the ethnic and minority press in America.
Marshall School of Business Libraries. Two libraries serve the Marshall School of Business and the Leventhal School of Accounting: the Crocker Business Library and the Leventhal Collaborative Learning Center. Both libraries provide access to commonly referenced business periodicals, and company information.
Norris Medical Library. The Norris Medical Library, which serves the USC Medical School, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies, is located on the University Health Sciences campus. A USC shuttle provides free transportation between the Health Science and University Park campuses. The historical collections of the Norris Medical Library consist of several parts:
- The Rare Book Room houses classics of medicine from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries. The 1500-volume collection includes representative works of such major figures as Albinus, Sir Charles Bell, Richard Bright, Charcot, Cruveilhier, Estienne, Harvey, William Hunter, van Leeunwenhoek, Pasteur, Benjamin Rush, and Vesalius. There is also a small collection of secondary works on the history of medicine in California and the pioneer west. The library has microfilm of approximately 1700 titles listed in Austin's Early American Medical Imprints (1668-1820).
- The History of Medicine Collection, a circulating collection of roughly 4000 secondary works relating to the history of medicine.
- The American Indian Ethnopharmacology Collection, housed in the Webb Room, including several hundred titles on the use of herbal and other traditional medicines by American Indians.
- A collection of 300 Spanish medical imprints, dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
- A small collection of publications relating to the various professional schools on the USC Health Sciences campus, including yearbooks, course catalogs, alumni publications, and historical photographs.
- The journals collection on the lower level of the library includes many medical journals dating back to the early nineteenth century.
With the exception of the Spanish medical imprints, all of these titles are included in HELIX, the library's online catalog (available on the Web from the library's home page).
ONE Institute/International Gay and Lesbian Archives. ONE Institute is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution affiliated with USC that houses the world's largest research library on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered history. Formed in 1952, it is the oldest ongoing Gay/Lesbian organization in the Western Hemisphere. The collection that ultimately became the International Gay & Lesbian Archives was begun in 1942. The two organizations merged in 1994.
Regional History Collection. The Regional Cultural History Collection was originally conceived as a repository for the papers of well-known Southern Californians, particularly political figures such as Governor Jerry Brown, Jr. The collections also include materials such as the papers of the Century Freeway project, the Webster and Christopher Commissions, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, early LA city directories, and the Los Angeles Examiner clippings morgue. It holds close to two million photographic images documenting one hundred years of Southern California history.
Seaver Center for Western History Research. The Seaver Center, located in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, adjacent to USC, joined in a partnership with USC Special Collections in 1999. Seaver focuses on the history and exploration of the Trans-Mississippi West, with particular emphasis on the history of California and LA. Its collection includes more than 750,000 manuscripts, 9,000 books, 2,000 periodical volumes, 1,500 reels of microfilm, and 2,500 maps spanning the 16th-20th centuries. Its collection of nearly one million historical objects includes 250,000 photographs of LA and the Southwest, manuscripts, books, serials, trade catalogues, pamphlets, maps, posters, Spanish and English personal, business, legal, and governmental manuscripts, and a historic site file listing information on 850 buildings of historical significance in Southern California.
USC Shoah Foundation Institute Archive. The nearly 52,000 videotaped testimonies of the Shoah Foundation Institute's Visual History Archive were recorded primarily between 1994 and 1999 in 56 countries and in 32 languages. While the majority of the interviews are with Jewish Holocaust survivors, the archive also includes the testimonies of political prisoners, Sinti and Roma (Gypsy) survivors, Jehovah's Witness survivors, survivors of eugenics policies, and homosexual survivors as well as rescuers and aid providers, liberators, and participants in war crimes trials. All video testimonies are fully indexed and searchable by the researcher for subjects, names or localities by the minute.
Von KleinSmid Library. The VKC Library houses collections that pertain to research in the areas of international relations; policy, planning, and development; and political science. It contains an extensive collection of publications from agencies that include the United Nations, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organization of American States, as well as extensive holdings of foreign statistical yearbooks, census records, pre-1990 Joint Publications Research Serve materials, and primary documents. The Planning Documents Collection contains over 3,000 planning documents and reports from urban and regional planning agencies and city governments.