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ARSC Frequently Asked Questions

The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean (1966)

How do I search the Archive's collections?

Search the Archive Catalog.  

Search the News and Public Affairs (NAPA) database.

Browse our Collection Profiles.

Professional catalogers and others interested in the technical aspects and standards of the Archive Catalog records may wish to consult the Archive's extensive Cataloging Procedure Manual.

For assistance searching the Archive Catalog, please email the Archive Research & 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 Archive 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 & 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 our Archive 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 & 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 & 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.