Getting Started with Special Collections & Archives

Finding Materials in SCA

  • Monographic (Book) Collections: Use the UCI Library Search, to search for rare books, manuscript collections, University Archives collections and other material. Please note: You will need to refine your search to holdings in Special Collections and Archives with the drop-down menu.                                                                                            
    • All books, pamphlets, and periodicals in Special Collections and Archives are cataloged in Library Search. You can also find records for archival collections but you will need to connect to the Online Archive of California to view information about individual box and folder contents.
  • Manuscript and Archivals Collections: Use the Online Archive of California (OAC) to specifically view finding aids, i.e., inventories of collection content, which provide detailed information about collection content that is readily accessible and searchable for manuscript and archival collections.
    • Manuscript and archival collections at UCI include the personal papers of individuals or families, the administrative records of offices at UCI, and the records of private organizations. Within a collection you might find correspondence, minutes, reports, photographs, drawings, newspaper clippings, ephemera, collected printed materials, and a variety of other formats.
  • Digital Special Collections: A small selection of our materials has been digitized and made available online in CalisphereOnline Archive of California, and UCIspace @ the Libraries.

Accessing the Reading Rooms

Special Collections and Archives is open to anyone over 18 years of age, or accompanied by a parent, but registration may be required before viewing/handling materials. There are two physical reading rooms in the Special Collections and Archives Department - the Verle and Elizabeth Annis Reading Room on the 5th floor of the Langson Library (LL525) and the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC & SEAA) Center on the 1st floor of the Libraries Gateway Study Center (LGSC 104) - and a virtual reading room online for viewing digital materials in UCIspace @ the Libraries.

Accessing Physical Collections

Request all Special Collections and Archives physical materials at the Reference Desk in the Annis Reading Room, Langson Library Room 525.  All visitors to the Annis Reading Room must complete an Application for Physical Reading Room Access and present photo identification. This form also includes our rules of use for materials in the Reading Room. You must read this document and sign the form acknowledging that you agree to abide by its terms. Staff will bring requested materials to the Reading Room for you to use.  Special Collections and Archives materials do not circulate. Some materials are stored off-site or are not yet organized, and must be requested in advance of your visit.

Request all cataloged books and vertical files in the Southeast Asian Archive, at the Reference Desk in the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive (OC & SEAA) Center (LGSC 104).  Some materials in the Southeast Asian Archive Reading Room circulate.  See the separate page on the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center for more information about using these materials. Request archival and manuscript materials, journals, magazines, and newspapers in the Southeast Asian Archive at the Reference Desk in the Annis Reading Room, Langson Library Room 525.

Requesting Library Services

Special Collections & Archives offers a wide range of library services, from assisting with research and publications to managing university records.

Plan Your Visit

Collections are open to the public for use in the Verle and Elizabeth Annis Reading Room on the 5th floor of the Langson Library, during normal operating hours. Several of our collections are stored off site – please contact us prior to your arrival to ensure books and other collections are available for use. Reading room hours vary of the course of the year. Please check our schedule for current hours and note any exceptions.


Do you have other questions? Email us at