Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFollow us on FlickrFollow us on YouTubeFollow us on PinterestFollow us on Instagram

Flat Artifacts, Multidimensional Stories

The Seaver Center allows public access (by appointment only) to an impressive library of two-dimensional artifacts, like historical maps, vintage movie posters, and architectural sketches. Learn more >

Preserving our History and Culture

The Museum's History Department encourages everyone to explore the colorful past of California and the American West. Learn more >

What is "Material Culture"?

Need more info about history terminology, our artifacts, or donation procedures? The History Department has answers to a number of frequently asked questions.
Learn more >

Print out a Field Trip Guide!

Want help navigating your visit?

Plan your route by using our Suggested Itineraries.

See our Lesson Plans and Activities for fun things to do in your classroom and during your trip!

Finally, jot down details about your visit on our printable Chaperone Guide

 

Seaver Center FAQs

What is the Seaver Center?

The Seaver Center for Western History Research is a repository and research center for historic papers (two-dimensional flat objects) within the History Department of the Natural History Museum.

What are the differences between Museum Archives and the Seaver Center for Western History Research?

Both the Museum Archives and the Seaver Center collect two-dimensional items that contain information of enduring historical value, such as letters, photographs, posters, and brochures. However Museum Archives hold records that reflect the Museum's institutional history, while the Seaver Center holds noncurrent, historical records created primarily outside of the Museum, by individuals, groups, institutions, and governments.

How can I make an appointment to review Seaver Center Collections?

To make an appointment to visit the Seaver Center, please call (213) 763-3359.

Can I order a copy of a photograph?

To request a copy of a photograph, please send a written request to seavercenter@nhm.org. In your email, please include as much information about the photograph as possible, such as: the collection number; title; subject; and the reason for your request, such as for publication in a book or journal, research copy, or for documentary film. Requests for copies can also be sent to: Seaver Center for Western History Research, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007.

The Collections Manager will contact you if additional information is needed in order to prepare a Photograph Use Agreement which states rights assigned and for which the requestor must sign. The Agreement will also specify the proper credit line to be used for publication purposes. 

Upon receipt of the signed Photograph Use Agreement, you will be sent an invoice for Reproduction and/or Use Fees.

Please allow at least four weeks for the request to be filled.

I already have a copy of a photograph from the Seaver Center. How do I obtain permission to use the photograph?

Please send a written request to seavercenter@nhm.org. In your email, include as much information about the photograph as possible, such as: the collection number; title; subject; and describe the reason for your request, such as for publication in a book or journal, research copy, or for documentary film. Requests for permission can also be sent to: Seaver Center for Western History Research, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007.

The Collections Manager will contact you if additional information is needed in order to prepare a Photograph Use Agreement which states rights assigned and for which the requestor must sign. The Agreement will also specify the proper credit line to be used for publication purposes. 

Upon receipt of the signed Photograph Use Agreement, you will be sent an invoice for Use Fees.

Please allow at least four weeks for the request to be filled.

Does the Seaver Center accept donations?

Staff will evaluate potential donations on a case-by-case basis according to the relevance of the artifact to the History Department's mission, similarity to current holdings, and historical value. To inquire about making a donation, please send an e-mail description of your artifact to seavercenter@nhm.org.

Does the museum appraise artifacts for market value?

The Museum, as a nonprofit foundation, prohibits its employees from appraising artifacts and specimens for market value. Appraisals can be obtained from private dealers and auction houses. For more information, go to www.appraisers.org.