Access to Special Collections

Special Collections materials are available by appointment only to qualified individuals with a bona fide research need. You should begin your research by familiarizing yourself with our Special Collections holdings, descriptions of which are available in the Library Catalog

If you wish to discuss your project with an archivist or make an appointment to use materials, please send a brief description of your project to the Special Collections department. You will then be asked to use the Academy Collections database in order to create and submit a list of the specific files you would like to access. Once your use of Special Collections has been approved, a member of the Special Collections staff will set up an appointment for you, and will pull together the materials you have requested.


The Special Collections reading room is open to researchers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Appointments to use Special Collections must be made at least two business days in advance by contacting the department via telephone, e-mail or in person. Advance appointments are always required; Special Collections material will not be made available on a same-day basis.

Because of space limitations, the number of appointments available each day is limited. For this reason, we recommend that appointments be scheduled as far in advance as possible, and ask that specific times and dates of appointments be observed. If you need to cancel or postpone an appointment, please contact the Special Collections department by telephone or e-mail as soon as possible. Without notification, all materials will be refiled, and you will have to reschedule your appointment.

Use and Handling of Manuscript Materials

Use of all Special Collections manuscript materials is coordinated by the Special Collections service desk. You must leave your library card at this desk whenever you are working with Special Collections materials. All materials must be used at the tables designated for Special Collections, and may not be taken into the DeMille Reading Room. Except under special circumstances, only one folder or file of material may be used at a time. It is extremely important that each item be handled with care, and that you keep the materials within each folder in order at all times.

Researchers may use pencil and paper, laptop computers or tablets for note-taking when working with Special Collections materials. Pens are not allowed under any circumstances. Small hand-held tape recorders are allowed, as long as their use does not disturb other patrons. Scanners and cameras, including digital cameras, are not permitted.  Photocopying is available on a limited basis.

At the end of each research visit, you must let the desk staff know if and when you will be returning to do additional research, and whether the materials you have been using should be held for your next visit, held for photocopying, or refiled. If you want to request additional Special Collections materials, you must speak to someone from the Special Collections department. If you are returning to do research the following day, you must make your request for additional materials before 2:00 p.m.

Rights and Permissions

With the exception of Academy Awards or other Academy-related materials, the Academy does not claim legal rights for publication or other types of commercial use or reproduction of materials in its holdings. As a researcher, you are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals regarding any information or images obtained from the library.

Although the Special Collections staff will inform you of any restrictions on a given collection, and will offer general guidance relating to questions of ownership or permissions, this is in no way represented as a substitute for legal consultation or research.


Special Collections Department
Margaret Herrick Library
333 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills CA 90211
Telephone : (310) 247-3036 ext. 2226