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Chicano Studies Research Center Library

Using the Books

The Chicano Studies Research Center Library holds many primary and secondary source materials. The library's secondary sources—books—are located in the stacks, which are open to browse but the books here cannot be checkout out. They do not circulate. Here are some answers to some basic questions to get started.

Where can I see if the library has a specific book?

  • All of our holdings are cataloged through the UCLA Library. You can either run a search on the Melvyl Catalog, which provides information about articles, books, journals, and other materials held by UCLA, other University of California (UC) campuses, and libraries worldwide. (This is important to note when you need to do Interlibrary Loan--see question below.) Or you can run a search on the UCLA Library Catalog, which will only look at assets held at UCLA. However, both will give you the exact location of the item. Please note that while the stacks are open, Chicano Studies Research Center Library materials do not circulate.

What is Interlibrary Loan and how can I use it?

  • If there is a book you want that isn't available at the UCLA libraries or is, but doesn't circulate (like our books) you can check the Melvyl Catalog to see if the book is available at another library. If the book is available at any other library, you can request the item be sent through interlibrary loan to a UCLA Library. The Melvyl Catalog will also let you know if an item is available online AND let's you search by zip code to see whether the item you are looking for is near you at any library, period. Pretty cool, huh!? See Interlibrary Loans to learn more.

Using the Archives

How can I find out what archival collections the library has?

  • Archival collections are also cataloged through the UCLA Library; however if you want to look at the finding aid for a collection at the Chicano Studies Research Center Library, check out the Online Archives of California (OAC). The OAC provides "free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses." That means you will not only find information about collections we have, but also collections other affiliated institutions might have regarding your research topic. See a full list of the finding aids available for collections at the Chicano Studies Research Center Library.

What is a finding aid?

  • "Finding aids, also known as finding guides, registers, or inventories, are tools created by archivist to help you navigate archival and manuscript collections. A finding aid describes and details the organization and contents of a collection." -SDSU Library, definition from their helpful tutorial

All of our archival collections are stored off site at the Southern Regional Library Facility. Please fill out an Archival Research Application specifying what collections and boxes you would like to request. It can take 24–48 hours for materials to arrive at the library, but we will send you a confirmation email when your materials arrive and you can come view the materials. For assistance, please contact Michael Stone, our Archives Manager.

Reading Room Rules

  • All readers must register and provide contact information, photo ID, and name. A valid form of identification (ex. driver's license; passport; military ID) will be kept while the patron is using the archival materials.
  • In-library use of archival collections will be under the direct supervision of library staff.
  • The use of ink pens is not permitted in the reading room. Patrons must only use pencils while working with archival collections. Pencil and paper are available upon request.
  • Patrons may not eat, drink, or chew gum while using archival collections. This includes water bottles.
  • Archival collections cannot be removed from the library at any time.
  • Only materials needed for research may be taken into the reading room when using archival collections. Briefcases, handbags, and computer cases, as well as coats, and hats are not allowed. They may be kept in the librarian's office.
  • Lose-leaf paper, pencils, laptop computers, and mobile devices in silent mode are allowed at the study tables. Readers must silence cell phones and leave the reading room to place or receive calls.
  • You must request permission to scan any archival documents. Scanning is decided on an item-by-item basis. No more than 10% or 200 pages- whichever is less, will be copied from any collection. Additional restrictions may apply based on copyright law or donor agreements.
  • Do not rearrange any archival materials.
  • No more than one box and one folder may be viewed at one time.

Care and Handling

The patron is responsible for care and handling of the materials. All materials in the department must be handled with great care.

  • Under no circumstances are marks of any kind to be made or erased on archival materials.
  • No tracing or rubbings may be made of the archival materials.
  • Materials should remain on the table while being consulted. All materials are to be viewed flat. Do NOT fold any archival materials.
  • Book cradles, pillows and weight snakes should be employed to aid use of fragile materials.
  • No books, papers, or objects may be laid on top of the materials, nor should the reader lean on them.
  • No direct handling of photographs is allowed. Appropriate cotton gloves will be provided.
  • Non-flash photography is allowed, but must be approved and supervised by staff.


Online Primary Source Resources