In keeping with LACMA's commitment to research and education, the Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library serves the Museum's staff, scholars, students, and the public by collecting, preserving, and ensuring access to information about art.
The Balch Art Research Library is also the repository of LACMA's institutional archive of records related to the museum's past exhibitions and administrative history.
Access to the library and archive is free and available by appointment. Requests for materials must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
The library includes:
- General Collection—exhibition catalogs, catalogues raisonnés, auction catalogs, periodicals, art reference books, artist files
- Special Collections—artists’ books and special-format ephemera, rare publications and fine editions, portfolios, exhibition posters
- Online resources— growing collection of e-books, digitized materials, and subscription databases (accessible on-site)
Generous support for the Balch Art Research Library is provided by the Caryll M. and Norman F. Sprague Jr. Foundation Library Endowment.
5900 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11am to 4pm
The archive of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was established through the generous support of planning and implementation grants awarded by the Getty Foundation in 2004 and 2007 through the special initiatives “On the Record: Art in LA 1945–1980” and “Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945–1980." Under the umbrella of the Balch Art Research Library, the archive collects, preserves, and makes available to researchers LACMA’s institutional records of enduring value. The archive also includes select collections relating to artists and other individuals who have made important contributions to the museum.
For additional information please contact the Balch Research Library at 323 857-6118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As archival collections are processed, finding aids describing the nature and contents of each collection are posted to the Online Archive of California, a database of archival collections from all over the state of California.
Search across all of LACMA’s available finding aids:
Unframed Blog Posts
In 1964, an 85-year-old Upton Sinclair visited the Los Angeles County Museum in Exposition Park to speak about his influential End Poverty in California (EPIC) campaign that began ...
Artist and Institution Files
Collection of postcards, exhibition announcements, clippings, press releases, pamphlets, and other uncataloged printed material, primarily related to art in California from the late 1960s to the present
Research collection of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies
Doris Stein Collection
Extensive collection of books, journals, and magazines related to the history of costume and textiles
Craft and Folk Art Museum Collection
5,500 print volumes, journals, and ephemera donated to the Balch Art Research Library in 1997. The collection was developed to support CAFAM's broad programmatic interests in contemporary craft, product design, and folk art.
Bernard Karpel Collection
Books and rare Surrealist printed ephemera acquired by LACMA in 1965.
Collection of books and auction catalogs supporting the study of netsuke