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Archive Research and Study Center FAQ

The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean (1966)

A message for our research visitors

Updated September 16, 2021

The UCLA Film & Television Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC) is pleased to resume onsite viewing appointments for valid BruinCard holders on September 23, 2021.

All requests to view materials from the Archive’s collection must be arranged in advance by emailing ARSC (arsc@cinema.ucla.edu). Once your research request is confirmed via email by ARSC staff, materials will be placed on reserve in the Instructional Media Lab, located on the second floor of Powell Library in Room 270.

Viewing hours for the Instructional Media Lab are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours of operation are subject to change. Please check our website for the latest information and to review instructions on how to search and request materials.

A valid BruinCard and face mask worn over the nose and mouth are required to enter all UCLA libraries. UCLA’s current COVID-19 protocols require all individuals—whether fully vaccinated or not—to wear a face covering indoors in all campus buildings. Examples of acceptable face masks are two-ply woven fabric masks or face coverings, surgical masks, non-woven KN95 masks and N95 respirators. Scarves, Balaclavas/ski masks, single-layer fabric masks, neck gaiters, bandanas and turtleneck collars are unacceptable.

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How do I search the Archive's collections?

Search our holdings in the UC Library Search catalog.

Browse our motion picture and television collection profiles.

Search the News and Public Affairs (NAPA) database.

For assistance searching the catalog, please email the Archive Research and Study Center.  


May I borrow a viewing copy?

The Archive's collection is available for on-site research viewing only and does not circulate. For on-site research, Study Copy titles can usually be placed on reserve for viewing in the Instructional Media Lab (270 Powell Library) within one working day of a request.


May I buy a viewing copy?

The Archive cannot provide copies of items in our collection. Due to copyright laws and contractual agreements with our donors and depositors, Archive holdings (including public domain titles) are available for on-site research viewing only.

Historical footage from our Hearst newsreel collection, KTLA news collection and certain other holdings are available for commercial licensing through our Media Licensing department.


Do you have footage I can use in my film?

Historical footage from our Hearst newsreel collection, KTLA news collection and certain other holdings are available for commercial licensing through our Media Licensing department. Additional sources for stock footage may be found at www.footage.net.


Which items are available to be viewed for research purposes?

The following access designations are found in the location field of Archive holdings records in the UC Library Search catalog:

  • Research and Study Copies: usually available to be viewed with one working day's notice.

  • Research Copies: usually available to be viewed within 14-21 working days of your request.

  • Archival Copies: unavailable to be viewed at this time (exceptions upon archivist approval).


How do I request items to view for research?

Please contact the Archive Research and Study Center at arsc@cinema.ucla.edu. In your email, please include:

  • Your mailing address and phone number

  • Your institution/and or company (if applicable)

  • Your job title and/or student status (faculty, undergraduate, department, etc.)

  • A brief description of your research project (please include specifics)

  • Your request list as compiled from the UC Library Search catalog (be sure to include titles and item inventory numbers)

  • Your proposed visit date(s)

Once our staff has reviewed your requests, you will be contacted and advised of item availability and viewing appointment dates.


May I view a 16mm print or a 3/4" video?

16mm prints and 1/2" or 3/4" tapes designated as Research Copies often can be made available for viewing within 14-21 working days of a formal viewing request. Requests to view such materials must be submitted to the Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC) office a minimum of several weeks before your proposed visit date.

Please note: 

  • Title request lists should be forwarded to ARSC in prioritized order (with item inventory numbers) and must be limited to titles that are essential to your research project.

  • Transfer requests can only be facilitated as holding condition and limited staff and equipment resources allow. Some holdings may be unavailable due to condition, lack of adequate lead time, etc.

  • Viewing requests for more than four hours of Research Copy material may require significant additional processing time in advance of your visit.

  • The materials will be transferred to DVD for viewing on a monitor in the Powell Library Instructional Media Lab.


May I view a 35mm print?

Access to 35mm prints is limited to titles that are not available on home video and for which the Archive holds no other viewable elements. Requests to view such materials must be submitted to Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC) staff a minimum of several weeks to a month before your proposed visit date. To protect these original elements all requests to view 35mm materials are subject to approval.

Please note:

  • Request lists for titles held on 35mm should be forwarded to ARSC in prioritized order and must be limited to titles essential to your research project.

  • Please note that transfer requests can only be facilitated as holding condition and limited staff and equipment resources allow.

  • Approved titles held on 35mm will be transferred to VHS or DVD access copies for viewing on a monitor in the Powell Library Instructional Media Lab.