LACMA's Balch Research Library, June 1, 1969, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

LACMA's Balch Research Library, June 1, 1969, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

The Balch Research Library: Our Virtual Doors are Open!

April 30, 2020
Pauline Wolstencroft, Senior Librarian

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the unprecedented reality of museums and libraries across the world shutting their doors until public safety can be ensured. This presents a unique challenge for museum staff who are conducting research for future exhibitions, as well as for outside researchers working on art-related projects that require library support.

LACMA’s library staff want to remind our patrons that although our physical space is closed temporarily, there are many resources available to you from home. In addition, library staff remain available to help answer your reference questions and assist in any way we can.

If you are researching a work of art in LACMA’s collection, you may begin your research with LACMA’s Collections Online website, a searchable database of artworks and related materials from the museum’s permanent collection. An individual database record includes information about the object as well as images and bibliographical information, when available.

Our library’s print and electronic holdings can be searched in WorldCat. Although we don’t have access to our print collection during the closure, there are many open access electronic resources available to our users.

One important resource available for those researching LACMA exhibitions and history is the Internet Archive. LACMA has contributed close to 200 digitized exhibition catalogues and sound recordings, and more content is forthcoming. Browse through the collection and you will find everything from artist interviews to audio tours of historical exhibitions to the full text of approximately 100 LACMA exhibition catalogues.

Some library staff favorites from the collection are:

For assistance, please contact us by emailing and we will do our best to help you. We are saddened that we cannot see our patrons in person but we look forward to opening our doors and welcoming you all back soon!

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