clark library

On September 22, 2008, I, along with a couple of UCLA librarians and reference desk assistants-in-training, went on a field trip to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Though the Clark Library is one of many UCLA libraries, it really is a trek to get there since it is located 13 miles across town, near USC.

The Clark Library is housed in this lovely mansion. It contains rare books and manuscripts, and is particularly strong in 17th and 18th century English literature and history.

I didn’t take pictures of the inside, though. I think that’s usually frowned upon around special collections. Bruce Whiteman, the head librarian, gave us a tour of the foyer, the drawing room, the reading room, and the stacks. In the foyer was its current exhibit on books with notable provenance. He pointed out the murals on the ceiling, which features nude figures and library/ knowledge symbolism. (Click here and here for other pictures of the library.)

Like most libraries, the Clark has space issues. It is in a bit of a bind, though, because, while it is situated on a property with extensive grounds (it occupies a square block and has another building on the premises), the terms of the donation explicitly says that materials can only be stored in the building.

After our tour, we partook of the scones, croissants, Devonshire cream, berries, etc. that the tour organizer, Debe Costa of College Library, brought for us. They were delicious! (Thanks, Debe!) If we had eaten outside on a picnic blanket, that would have been perfect. But we were rushed for time. (I had to be back on campus for my vanpool.)


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