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Special Collections

Special Collections

Special collections are unique library materials that are available to the public throughout LA County Library. To find out more about these collections, contact the Libraries listed below.

Digital collection

Digital Collections

LA County Library’s Digital Collections contain images, documents, and audiovisual materials that document the history and culture of Los Angeles County. The library digitizes rare and unique materials from its own collections, partners with other county departments to provide access to county materials of historical interest, and collaborates with the communities it serves to create local history materials that reflect the historical experiences of Los Angeles County residents.

Mountain collection

Arkel Erb Memorial Mountaineering Collection

Malibu Library

Collected by Ruth and Arkel Erb over a twenty-year period, the collection consists of nonfiction and some fiction books, videos, magazines and maps and is one of the most complete mountaineering collections in the U.S. It includes materials on mountaineering in countries throughout the world, as well as on related subjects such as caving, canoeing, backpacking, cooking, wilderness travel and survival techniques.

California collection
Californiana Collection

Norwalk Library

This collection consists of over 24,000 books and over 200 magazine and newspaper titles in paper and on microfilm as well as a collection of state documents including state and county budgets. The goal of this collection is to present a complete picture of the history, culture, environment and artistic expression of the people of California and to some extent, the western United States.

Health collection
Consumer Health Information Collection

Norwalk Library

As part of the Consumer Health Information Program, this collection consists of books, magazines, videos, and online databases related to health topics. Individualized research services are also provided.

Public Policy collection

Edmund D. Edelman Public Policy Collection

Norwalk Library

Established in 1994, this collection includes materials on public policy in local government and the private sector. The collection is named in honor of Supervisor Edmund D. Edelman in recognition of his more than 20 years of service to Los Angeles County.

Environmental collection

Environmental Collection

Topanga Library

The Environmental Collection was established along with the Topanga Library, and opened with the library in 2012. The Environmental Collection contains books, magazines, and DVDs related to environmental activism, sustainable living, and ecology.

rainbow flag

LGBT Collection

West Hollywood Library

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection contains fiction and nonfiction books that explore the issues and culture of the LGBT community.

Japanese relocation camp

Japanese Relocation Camp Collection

Gardena Mayme Dear Library

The Japanese Relocation Collection includes books, magazines, newspapers, as well as research dissertations related to World War II internment camps.

collection jewish

Judaica Collection

Culver City Julian Dixon Library and Agoura Hills Library

The Judaica Collection contains materials on the history and culture of the Jewish people with a focus on the Holocaust, including works of fiction and nonfiction by Jewish authors.

Nautical collection

Nautical Collection

Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library

The Nautical Collection which began in 1976 includes materials on boating, boat repair, navigation, and materials donated by the Department of Beaches and Harbors and the Department of Regional Planning. It has been cited in LA Weekly as the “best nautical library.”

collection hiv

Ron Shipton HIV Information Center

West Hollywood Library

The Ron Shipton HIV Information Center was established in 1989 as a joint venture between LA County Library and the City of West Hollywood. It provides current books and videos on AIDS education, transmission, prevention, treatment , and legal issues.

Surfing, Oceans, and Sustainability Collection

Malibu Library

The Surfing, Oceans, and Sustainability Collection (S.O.S.) contains more than 200 nonfiction books relating to surfing, oceans, and the environment. They speak to Malibu’s unique history as a surfing destination as well as its commitment to environmental stewardship and a healthy lifestyle.

Guests relax at Bruce's Beach (Courtesy of the Miriam Matthews Photograph Collections, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.)

Bruce’s Beach Collection

Manhattan Beach Library

The Bruce’s Beach Commemorative Collection, located at Manhattan Beach Library, consists of materials on African and African-American History. The collection was established in 2022 thanks to a donation of materials by Dr. Anthony Lee, a Manhattan Beach resident and retired professor of History at UCLA and West Los Angeles College.

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