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The Research Library will be closed December 25, 2014–January 1, 2015. Requests received during this time will be processed beginning January 2, 2015.
The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute is open to all inquiries from the public. Three levels of reader privileges are available as needed:

Plaza Reader: Materials from the stacks and storage may be paged for use in the Plaza Reading Room during regular open hours.
Stack Reader: Access to the Research Library open stacks and Special Collections during regular open hours. Materials from storage may be paged for use.
Extended Reader: Extended hours of access to the Research Library open stacks for specialists requiring concentrated use of the library and its collections. Access to Special Collections during regular open hours. Materials from storage may be paged for use.
All Readers may request materials for in-house consultation. Materials do not circulate outside of the Research Library. Stack Readers, Extended Readers, Getty staff, in-residence Getty scholars and fellows, and Getty interns may consult the Research Institute's Special Collections and Institutional Archives in the Special Collections Reading Room, Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Please refer to the guidelines and policies below before making an appointment.

Special Collections Use Policy: How to access Special Collections and use the Special Collections Reading Room.
Institutional Archives Use Policy: How to access Institutional Archives.

Reader Levels:


Plaza Reader

Who May Register
Plaza Reader privileges are extended to members of the public with a government-issued photo identification.
Access and Privileges
Plaza Readers have access to the Plaza level of the Research Library, which houses art reference materials, J. Paul Getty Trust publications, a collection on the history of art, architecture, and culture in Los Angeles, and the current periodicals reading area during regular library hours.
General library materials from stacks and storage may be requested for use in the Plaza Reading Room. Refer to the Circulation Policy for more information.
For information about parking, please refer to the Library Parking Policy.
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Stack Reader

Who May Register
Stack Reader privileges are extended to all members of the scholarly and museum communities (e.g., university faculty, graduate students, curators, etc.) with proof of current institutional affiliation and government-issued photo identification. The agreement form must be submitted to the Reference Desk in person, not through email or post.
Independent researchers (those not affiliated with a scholarly or museum institution) with specific projects or interests may apply for Stack Reader privileges. Prospective Stack Readers must complete the application form. This application may be submitted in person, through email, or via post.
Undergraduates with special circumstances will be considered when they submit a letter of reference from a professor familiar with their work.
Access and Privileges
Stack Readers may use the open stacks, the Photo Archive, and reading areas on all three levels of the Research Library during regular hours.
Stack Readers may use Special Collections materials in the Special Collections Reading Room Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Reservations for the Special Collections Reading Room must be made at least two weeks in advance. Refer to the Circulation Policy for more information.
For information about parking, please refer to the Library Parking Policy.
Badge Renewal
Stack Reader privileges expire every two years, but are usually renewable.
Stack Readers with expired badges will be directed to the Reference Desk for renewal information. It is not possible to start the renewal process until the day the badge expires.
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Extended Reader

Who May Apply
Researchers must be working on projects requiring concentrated use of Research Library materials for extended hours of access.
At the time of application, applicants should be registered Stack Readers familiar with the Research Library, if possible.
Access and Privileges
Extended Reader privileges provide extended-hours access (Monday–Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.) to the open stacks, the Photo Archive, and the reading areas of the Research Library.
Extended Readers will be granted access to Special Collections material in the Special Collections Reading Room Monday–Friday, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Reservations for the Special Collections Reading Room must be made at least two weeks in advance. Refer to the Circulation Policy for more information.
Study carrels, when available, are assigned to Extended Readers who ask to be placed on the carrel waiting list. Receiving and keeping a carrel is determined by the Reader's frequency of use of the library in any given quarter.
For information about parking, please refer to the Library Parking Policy.
How to Apply
Prospective Extended Readers must complete an application form (PDF, 160 KB, 2PP).
Badge Renewal
Extended Reader privileges expire annually. Please contact the GRI for more information.
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Special Collections Use Policy


Special Collections at the Research Institute contain rare and unique collections in selected areas of art history and visual culture. These holdings include archives, manuscripts, architectural materials and models, rare books, prints, photographs, sketchbooks, artists' books, multiples, and audiovisual materials.

How to Access


To Request Special Collections Items

Stack Readers, Extended Readers, Getty staff, in-residence Getty scholars and fellows, and Getty interns must request Special Collections items using Primo Search.

To View Special Collections Items

To reserve a seat and to ensure availability of Special Collections material, reservations must be made two weeks in advance. Reservations can be made by contacting the GRI.

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Reading Room Practice

Please check in briefcases, satchels, and backpacks with the Reading Room Supervisor. A pad of paper and pencil will be provided. Quiet, portable computers are also permissible; however, please leave computer cases with the Reading Room Supervisor. At the end of the appointment, please return the pad of paper to the Reading Room Supervisor. Any notes the researcher needs will be removed from the pad and returned to the researcher. The Getty Research Institute reserves the right to inspect all research materials and personal articles before the researcher leaves the Reading Room. Please note that the Special Collections Reading Room is monitored and recorded on video.
The Special Collections Reading Room is a quiet study room. If material must be discussed with a Research Institute curator, the adjacent Special Collections Seminar Room is available by appointment. Guests may not accompany Readers into the Reading Room.
No special material may leave the Special Collections Reading Room under any circumstances.
Please wash your hands before examining Special Collections material. Restrooms are adjacent to the Special Collections Seminar Room. No food or beverages are allowed in the Special Collections Reading Room; smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building.
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Handling Special Materials

Readers are responsible for the careful handling of all requested material. Do not lean on, write on, fold, or trace over materials.
Book supports will be provided by the Reading Room Supervisor. If items require special handling, the Reading Room Supervisor will give specific instructions. Uncut pages and other irregularities should be reported to the Reading Room Supervisor.
Only one box or book per Reader is allowed on the table at a time. If a Reader has requested more boxes or books, these can be brought to the table once the previous item has been returned.
The proper order of manuscripts within file folders, portfolios, and boxes must be maintained. Archival paper strips for place holders will be provided by the Reading Room Supervisor. One folder at a time should be removed from its box, examined, and then returned to the box before the next folder is removed.
While handling photographs or negatives not sleeved in Mylar, users are required to wear cotton gloves provided by the Reading Room Supervisor. Never remove photographs or drawings from their mats.
Readers are encouraged to bring to the attention of the Reading Room Supervisor all items in need of repair, misfiled materials, and discrepancies in cataloging or identification of materials.
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Copies, Copyright, and Permission to Publish

The use of personal digital cameras in the Special Collections Reading Room is encouraged in lieu of placing photocopy requests. Special guidelines apply.
Rare books and photographs cannot be photocopied. Readers may request a maximum of 35 pages to be photocopied from a section of an archive in good physical condition. (No archive will be photocopied in full.) Please see the Reading Room Supervisor for forms. There is a handling charge of $5.00 for 1–15 pages, and $10 for 16–35 pages, payable upon receipt. Generally we are able to fulfill photocopy orders within 1 month.
In some cases, it may be possible for the researcher to order digital files or 8 x 10–inch digital prints. Orders for photography must be approved by curators.
Special Collections Reference Librarians can assist users in identifying materials to which copyright restrictions may apply; however, the researcher is responsible for securing rights to quote text or reproduce images.
In many cases, the J. Paul Getty Trust does not hold the copyright to materials in its collections. If the work is not in the public domain, it is the responsibility of the researcher to secure permission from the appropriate copyright holder to publish items from the library's collection.
Permission to publish must be applied for separately by completing and submitting a Reproductions and Permissions form.
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Exhibition Loan Policy

The Getty Research Institute supports loans from its collections to further its mission and to increase public access to its holdings. To request Research Library materials for an exhibition, please see the conditions for borrowing collections materials and collections facsimiles.

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Institutional Archives Use Policy


The Getty Institutional Archives collects and keeps the permanent records of the J. Paul Getty Trust and other documents pertinent to its history, collections, and programs. These holdings are essential for institutional continuity and accountability, and are an important source of evidence for scholars interested in Getty history and its mission-related activities.

The J. Paul Getty Trust is dedicated to the increase and diffusion of artistic and general knowledge and therefore is committed to providing all registered users of the Archives with equitable service and access to the holdings. Records in the Archives are opened to researchers as soon as possible. Access to some records may be restricted due to statutes, personal privacy rights, institutional proprietary rights, or through agreement between Institutional Archives and transferring offices or donors.

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How to Access


To Request Institutional Archives

Stack Readers, Extended Readers, in-residence Getty scholars and fellows, and Getty interns may request items labeled "Institutional Archives" using Primo Search.

Getty staff may directly contact Institutional Archives staff for reference assistance and to request materials.

To View Institutional Archives

Stack Readers, Extended Readers, Getty staff, in-residence Getty scholars and fellows, and Getty interns may review Institutional Archives collections in the Special Collections Reading Room. Please refer to the Special Collections Use Policy for information about procedures for requesting materials and practices for consulting them.

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General Access Policy


Research use of Institutional Archives collections will be administered according to policies and procedures consistent with those in place for access to other rare and unique materials.
All records intended for public circulation or approved for public release are open for research.
Records will be opened for research as soon as possible. Once a record is open, it will remain open.
At the time records are transferred to Institutional Archives, the head of the originating department and an archivist will come to agreement on which records are open for research and those which need to be restricted for longer periods.
Any restriction to access may be waived only by the General Counsel or the originating office (or its successor). External donors of collections may waive prior negotiated restrictions at any time.
Current Officers have authority to inspect all records, except for materials sealed by outside donors.
The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the right to restrict access to any records held by the Getty Institutional Archives.
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Guidelines for Closed Records


Closed records may be inspected only by the General Counsel, the director of the originating program or division, or their designees.
The following records are permanently closed: records containing personal information (including salary information, Social Security numbers, grievances, home contact information, family information, medical information, financial information, or any information related to character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living), records that compromise security or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors.
The following records are closed for 35 years after the latest inclusive date of each accession: minutes and correspondence of the Board of Trustees and its committees, records of the Officers and Program Directors, records of curatorial and registrar offices, and any record series that includes information about collection acquisitions.
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