Experience literature, history, and culture and the College's history.

Our holdings include rare books, manuscripts, historical maps, photos, stereographs, College publications and records, and artwork. Our collection strengths include fine printing, the history of printing, artist's books, mystery and detective fiction, California and the West, Los Angeles, and the poet Robinson Jeffers.

Special Collections holds materials related to Barack Obama, who attended Oxy from 1979 to 1981. Students in "Obama and the Issues" class, Politics 265, in spring 2010 collected contemporary images of Barack Obama in global popular culture. This initial series launches a digital archive to preserve different perspectives and research related to Barack Obama, President of the United States and Alumnus of °IJʿ. 

Materials preserved from the personal library of Los Angeles Times columnist and Olympic historian, William Mellors "Bill" Henry (1890-1970), class of 1914. Includes manuscripts, letters, press clippings, photographs, ephemera and memorabilia documenting Olympic games from 1932 to the present, 20th century Los Angeles history, presidential campaigns, and the development of aviation in Southern California. To browse a selection of materials from the Bill Henry Collection, please visit the . To learn about Bill Henry and the development of Los Angeles during the 20th century visit the online exhibit. For a full list of Oxy's Bill Henry collection visit our .

Extensive collection of 10,000 stereographic views, covering the Civil War, San Francisco earthquake, Los Angeles environs, California National Parks, Colorado landscape, Alaska Gold Rush, scenic pictures of Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia. The bulk of the photographs were taken during 1890-1911.

To browse a selection of stereographs, please visit the .

The collection contains letters, pamphlets, newspapers, and other publications, including correspondence by Oxy President Remsen Bird related to the forced internment of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Detailed information about this collection can be found in the .

The Joe and Henk Friezer Photography Negatives Collection is the collected work of the father-son freelance photographers, Joe and Henk Friezer. They lived and built their studio in Northeast Los Angeles. Their photography documents local community and family events; numerous regional and national business and organizations; °IJʿ; and prominent Los Angeles and national figures. They also served as the primary news photographers for the Northeast Newspapers chain and contributed to other regional and international news publications. Spanning over 50 years, the archive comprising 100,000+ negatives represents over 15,000 photo assignments. 

About 16,000 volumes of first editions, plus manuscripts, film scripts, periodicals and photographs pertaining to mystery and detective fiction, from 1740 to 1975. The collection is very rich in Sherlock Holmes; highlights of Gothic Fiction are also well represented. Donated by Oxy alumnus E. T. Guymon, Jr., this is one of the world's largest collections in this genre.

The collection contains several 20th-century operatic scores, sheet music, and books on music from the personal library of actor and singer Nelson Eddy. There are 39 linear feet of indexed sheet music that provide a diverse representation of world music.

Special Collections holds rare books that represent the advent of printing in the West to present. This includes incunables (books printed from the 1450s to 1501), first editions, significant works of literature, fine printing, miniature books, and contemporary artist's books. Notable strengths are in the history of printing, Latin America, Western America, Abraham Lincoln and American Political Life. Of particular interest is the Ned Guymon Mystery and Detective Fiction Collection.

Jeffers graduated from Oxy in 1905. His wife Una Jeffers, collector Albert Bender, and UCLA University Librarian Lawrence Clark Powell '28 were instrumental in starting the core of this collection in the 1930s. The collection contains several editions of his work, foreign translations, manuscripts, and portraits of Jeffers taken by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and other great photographers. The celebrates this great poet. Use the to learn more.

Ritchie ’28 was a printer, a major figure in the local culural scene, and a dedicated alumnus of the College. The collection is comprised of over 800 works from his various presses, works written by him, biographical materials, and boxes of galley proofs, mock ups, and ephemera. As a commercial printer, Ritchie published many works about Los Angeles, thus providing resources for regional history research. .

Books, family letters, newspaper clippings, sound recordings, and mementos by and about former statesman and Scopes trial prosecutor, William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925). The official correspondence of Bryan is housed at the Library of Congress

Contact the Library
Academic Commons

Mary Norton Clapp Library
1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90041