As many of you know, the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is a UCLA library and, as such, our holdings are represented in the UCLA Library online catalog. Searching the catalog can tell you what resources UCLA’s many libraries and archives have for you to explore, peruse, and read.
But what if you are looking for materials specifically within the Clark’s collections? How might you focus your search? And what if you cannot find in the online catalog what you think should be there? Here are a few tips to help you to discover what you seek.
First, go to the UCLA Library catalog. You’ll see in the lower right-hand corner of the search box a blue button, with a white arrow, labeled “Set Other Search Limits.”
Click this button, which takes you to a page where you can limit your search by “Location.” In the Location menu, scroll down and click on “Clark Library,” then click on the “Set Limits” button at the bottom of the page.
You will then be returned to the main page of the UCLA Library catalog, with an added note in purple stating, somewhat emphatically: “Search limits are in effect!”
You are now able to search just within the Clark’s collections. But there is one important caveat: Make sure that your search is a “Keyword” search. If you change the search option to Author List, Title, or anything else, the catalog will erase your Clark Library location limit. This is not intuitive, so please ask us if you have questions.
One additional note regarding the online catalog: Once you have found a record that interests you, be sure to click the “Detailed Record” button at the top of the screen to see more about the item’s physical description, provenance, and other potentially pertinent information.
There are two other sources that you can use to find what you seek within the Clark’s collections. The first is our collection of finding aids on the Online Archive of California. Here we post the descriptions of our archival materials, including manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, artwork, and other non-printed documents.
The second is our card catalog.
We indeed still have a card catalog, conveniently located in the foyer to the library’s reading room. During the retrospective conversion process in which our catalog cards were converted into digital data and added to the UCLA Library online catalog, a number of Clark materials were inadvertently excluded. The card catalog thus contains records of materials that are not in our online catalog and continues to be an essential searching tool.
We encourage our readers to let us know when they find materials in the card catalog, but not in the online catalog, so that we can add the missed records into the latter. But those interested in doing research at the Clark should be prepared to search our holdings in the card catalog as well as the online catalog. Think of it as a hybrid search model — a sometimes non-intuitive, potentially complex, but rewarding process. And the Clark staff are always here to help.