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Research Library Gallery

Historical Library Photos

Photos from the library's history

Library Contact Information

Open by Appointment Only:
   Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm

Phone: 213.763.3268
    Fax: 213.763.3592


Research Library Collections

Scope and Significance of the Collections

The Library collection includes important material not found in other local libraries and is especially known for its long runs of certain journals, some of which begin with issues published in the 19th century. The collection contains books and materials from as far back as the 16th century, including unique materials in the special collections. The over 30 special collections of the library include materials from John A. Comstock (past Museum Director) and Frances Runyan (former volunteer and scientific illustrator).

The collections reflect key focuses of the Museum's mission and values supplemented with general materials. Attempts to acquire materials in subjects consistent with key research and educational areas of the Museum and as applied to the southern California and western region of the United States. The Museum's interests often go beyond this geographic setting and include topics that are interdisciplinary in nature. The library also support general museum practices and operations as well as education and exhibits.

Search the Library's Online Catalog.


  • Maps
  • Rare Books
  • Special Collections

Featured Artist:


Frances Runyan

Frances Runyan has been affiliated with the Museum for many years, working closely with the Botany department and teaching courses in botanical artwork. The Frances Runyan Collection is an extensive set of black-and-white original and hand-drawn prints by Ms. Runyan. In addition to the prints, there one photographic portrait of Ms. Runyan. The artwork was created with pencil, pen-and-ink, and possibly watercolor paints. Subjects include mushrooms, plants and Meso-American artifacts.

To view the Frances Runyan virtual exhibit visit the Gallery page.