Libraries & Research

Research Library Image

Libraries & Research

Balch Art Research Library

In keeping with LACMA’s commitment to research and education, the Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch Art Research Library maintains an extensive, non-circulating collection of research-level materials that support the museum’s collections and programming. The library holds over 200,000 monographs, exhibition catalogs, journals, periodicals, reference resources, and current auction catalogs, as well as a growing collection of art ephemera files. As of January 2014, the library shares its space with LACMA’s Art and Technology program.

Research Appointments and Reference Inquiries

Access to the library is free and available to the public by appointment. To make an appointment, please fill out this appointment request form. Requests for materials must be made at least 24 hours in advance.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11am to 4pm

Closed Wednesdays and weekends


Bing Center, L level (below LACMA Café)

For additional inquiries, please call (323) 857-6118 or email

Generous support for the Research Library is provided by the Caryll M. and Norman F. Sprague Jr. Foundation Library Endowment. 


Special Collections
Artist Files
Online Reading Room
Rifkind Center

Meet Our Staff: Jessica Gambling

Unframed is taking a look behind the scenes to profile the creative, dedicated people who make LACMA special. We sat down with archivist Jessica Gambling to talk about her path to becoming a museum archivist, how she decides what to keep, and little-known facts about LACMA…

A Sublime Paper Trail: Surrealist Ephemera in the Research Library

Melting clocks, haunting dreamscapes, and Dalí's eccentric moustache—perhaps even René Magritte's iconic painting The Treachery of Images, on view in LACMA's Modern art galleries—may be just some of the imagery that first enter your mind when you think of Surrealism in art.