The University of Southern California maintains and develops broad collections, providing access to materials on-site and online. Presented here is a selection of our many archival, book and digital collections.
For additional information, you may also:
- Search the complete list of archival collections and finding aids
- Visit the Special Collections Department page
- Contact Us
- American Literature Collection (books)
Numbering some 65,000 volumes, this author-based collection of North American writing emphasizes the period from 1850 to 1975.
- Andrew J. and Erna Viterbi Family Archives (archival materials)
Andrew J. Viterbi is one of the most important of the group of scientists and entrepreneurs whose revolutionary and creative work in the late 20th century ushered in the digital age. Samplings from the collection are available in the USC Digital Library.
- Arlien Johnson Social Work History Collection (books)
This collection, approximately 700 volumes published prior to 1960, is located in the Social Work Library Information Center. The collection serves to illuminate the scope and practice of social work and social welfare in the past, and offers insights for understanding how we have come to today’s practice and social policies.
- Automobile Club of Southern California (digital)
The Automobile Club of Southern California Digital Archive provides documentation on the region's transportation history, especially Los Angeles from 1892 to 1963, from the Auto Club's Corporate Archives.
- Boeckmann Latin American Collection (books)
- California Social Welfare Archive (archival materials)
CSWA was organized in 1979 to collect materials that chronicle the history and diversity of social welfare in California, with an emphasis on Southern California. The archive contains correspondence, minutes, memoranda, annual reports, research papers, conference proceedings, oral histories and newsletters of California social welfare and related organizations have reflected in their programs the development of social welfare programs, problems, issues and services in the state.
- Cervantes Collection (books)
- Charles Bukowski Collection (archival materials)
In addition to his books, Special Collections houses drafts of Women, Factotum, Ham on Rye, Post Office, and Barfly; screenplays based on Bukowski's fiction; periodical appearances; tape recordings; and ephemera of the Los Angeles-based poet (1920-1994).
- Charlotta Bass/California Eagle Photograph Collection (digital)
The Charlotta Bass/California Eagle Photograph Collection is comprised of almost 500 photographs that were among the personal papers and artifacts of Charlotta Bass, publisher of the California Eagle from 1912-1951.
- Chinese Historical Society (digital)
The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California Collection documents artifacts excavated from two sites in Southern California.
- Constance McCormick Collection (archival materials)
The Constance McCormick Collection at the Cinematic Arts Library is an archive of print articles, photos, and reviews that span motion-picture history. Clippings and articles contained within respective scrapbooks tell the chronological stories of individual film actors’ lives and careers.
- David Wolper Center Collection (archival materials)
Film and television producer David Wolper donated his personal archives to be housed in the David L. Wolper Center at the University of Southern California. This collection of memorabilia traces Wolper's career over the past half-century of entertainment and covers the process of filmmaking from the initial stages of development through distribution.
- Dunbar Economic Development Corporation (digital)
The Dunbar Economic Development Corporation (Dunbar EDC) collection contains photographs and artifacts which document the Vernon-Central neighborhood of Los Angeles which is the historic core of the California African American community.
- El Clamor Publico (digital)
El Clamor Publico is available through a partnership with The Huntington Library, who generously allowed USC to digitize their complete holdings of this newspaper. Billed as Los Angeles' "Periodica Independiente y Literacio," El Clamor Publico was the first Spanish-language newspaper in California after the American occupation.
- Elmer Bernstein Collection (archival materials)
Film music composer Elmer Bernstein's collection of music, film, and related materials is housed and maintained at the USC Cinematic Arts Library. This rare collection consists of reproduced as well as hand-written scores and sketches from all periods of Bernstein's career.
- Feuchtwanger Collection (books)
The Library contains nearly 30,000 volumes covering European history and literature. Some 8,000 of the rarest books are housed on the USC campus, while 20,000 volumes remain on long-term loan at the Feuchtwanger’s former residence, Villa Aurora, in Pacific Palisades.
- Flewelling Collection (books)
Comprising approximately 2,500 volumes, this collection includes manuscripts, incunabula and such works as Hobbe’s Leviathan (1651), and Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1690).
- Gomperz Collection (books)
The collection includes some 3,500 volumes of original and early editions of European philosophy from about 1700 to 1850.
- Greene & Greene (digital)
The Greene & Greene Digital Archive contains images of drawings, architectural plans, rooms, furnishings, books, sketches, photographs, correspondence, and other historical documents related to the life and work of the architects Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, who headed the southern California design firm of Greene & Greene (active 1894-1922) that is often associated with the finest architecture and craftsmanship of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
- Hamlin Garland Papers (archival materials)
The Garland papers came to USC in 1940-41 by arrangement with Mrs. Garland and his two daughters. More than 8000 pieces of correspondence, largely unpublished, are part of the Hamlin Garland Collection, along with nearly eight hundred manuscripts of Garland's writings, dozens of his literary notebooks, many hundreds of photographs and other memorabilia, and Garland's personal library.
- Japanese-American Relocation (digital)
This collection of photographs from the Hearst Collection of the Los Angeles Examiner in the USC Regional History Collection, documents the relocation of Japanese Americans in California during World War II.
- Korean-American Collection (digital)
The documentary record of the Korean experience in America remains dispersed and difficult to access. The Korean American Digital Archive brings more than 13,000 pages of documents, over 1,900 photographs, and about 180 sound files together in one searchable collection that documents the Korean American community during the period of resistance to Japanese rule in Korea and reveal the organizational and private experience of Koreans in America between 1903 and 1965.
- Korean Heritage Collection (books)
The collection’s particular strengths are in Korean newspapers, Korean-American and immigration history, Korean cinema, journalism and mass media, Korean independence movements, the Korean War, and local materials of the Cholla-do region.
- Lawrence Lipton (books, archival materials)
In addition to his books, Special Collections houses the papers of Venice Beach area Beat poet (1898-1975), including Business files, tax records, and correspondence; typescripts; photographs; clippings; literary journals; tape recorded interviews, readings, and radio programs; Lipton's archives for his "Radio Free America" column in the Los Angeles Free Press.
- Lewis Carroll Collection (books)
Over 1,000 items are in the collection, which includes first editions of the 1865-66 Alice's Adventures and its sequel Through the Looking Glass. In addition to these and a facsimile of the manuscript, there are “Alices” in other languages and from many decades as the original black-and-white etchings gave way to color and to modern printing extravagances inspired by animation techniques.
- Lewitzky Dance Company Archive (archival materials)
The Lewitzky Dance Company Archive consists of approximately 290 boxes of papers, films, photographs, costumes, programs, posters, stage plots, and sound recordings. It covers the Company's archived and working papers from all offices, including the Manager, Booking and Production offices.
- Lion Feuchtwanger Archive (archival materials)
The voluminous archival material collected by German Emigré novelist Lion Feuchtwanger includes his personal and business correspondence, multiple versions of his writings, reviews of his works, photographs, and other personal artifacts.
- Los Angeles City Archives (digital)
- Los Angeles Examiner (digital)
The Los Angeles Examiner Collection consists of approximately 1.4 million prints and negatives from the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper. Almost every event and individual receiving news coverage in Los Angeles during the period late 1920's to 1961 is represented in the collection.
- Max Reinhardt Collection (books)
Reinhardt died in 1943, and a portion of his personal library (mostly published plays in German) that had escaped confiscation was merged into the USC collections.
- Performing Arts Archives (archival materials)
The Cinema Library’s Archives of Performing Arts contains the studio collections of MGM, Universal Studios, Twentieth Century-Fox, Hal Roach, Republic Pictures and Carolco Pictures, and, in an affiliated collection, the complete Warner Bros. Archives. Additionally the archive contains the papers and materials of some 300 individual practitioners of the art of the motion picture.
- Regional History Collection (archival materials)
In addition to elected officials’ papers, the Regional History Collection contains over two million images documenting one hundred years of Southern California history. Many of these images have appeared in books, documentaries, class presentations and wall decorations; currently many of them are being incorporated into the USC Digital Library.
- Sea of Korea Maps (digital)
The Sea of Korea Maps Digital Archive consists of original old maps, dating from 1606 to 1895, in English, French, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Latin, German and Russian. It was formed by digitizing the combination of two private collections comprised of 172 maps.
- Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive (video)
The Visual History Archive is the collection of nearly 52,000 video interviews with Holocaust witnesses gathered by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.
- Standish K. Penton Slide Collection (slides)
The Standish K. Penton Family Slide Collection in the Architecture and Fine Arts Library is an instruction resource primarily for faculty teaching in the Department of Art History, the School of Architecture and the School of Fine Arts.
- University Archives (books, archival materials)
The University Archives includes material documenting the history and growth of the University of Southern California. Books (including faculty publications), manuscripts, USC periodicals and newspapers, ephemera, photographic images, disc and tape recordings, and other archival items are available for research under supervised conditions.
- University of Southern California University Archives Image Collection (digital)
The University of Southern California (USC) University Archives Image Collection contains photographs documenting the history of USC. Subjects include: football coaches (1908-1959), fraternities, sororities, buildings, student activities and athletics.
- Warner Bros. Archives (archival materials)
Presented to USC by Warner Communications in 1977, the USC Warner Bros. Archives is the largest single studio collection in the world. It is the only collection to bring production, distribution and exhibition records together to document the activities of a vertically integrated studio.
- Whittington Photographs
The "Dick" Whittington Studio was the largest and finest photography studio in the Los Angeles area from 1924 to 1987. Specializing in commercial photography, the Whittington Studio took photographs for nearly every major business and organization in Los Angeles.
- Works Progress Administration Cards (digital)
The Works Progress Administration Los Angeles Household Census Cards collection dates from 1939. The physical cards which number nearly half a million items are owned by USC's Information Services, Regional History Collection.
- Works Progress Administration Maps (digital)
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) conducted a land use survey from December 18, 1933 to May 8, 1939 for the city of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning. It covered approximately 460 square miles within the boundary of the City of Los Angeles and resulted in this series of 345 hand-colored land use survey maps.