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The Hollywood Research Library: Visual Knowledge in the Republic of Images

Please join us for an event with Aaron Rich, author of "The Hollywood Research Library: Visual Knowledge in the Republic of Images." Aaron will discuss his dissertation and recent article, "Sharing Sources and Services: The LAPL and Hollywood Researchers."

Beginning in the mid-1910s, the American film industry relied heavily on the collections of visual materials in the Los Angeles Public Library to help producers, directors, and craftworkers find image references to support the creation of their movies. Not only did this lead to the creation of in-house collections of illustrated books and assorted visual media at each major production company, but it helped the LAPL develop and grow its own picture collections for patrons inside and outside Movieland. This reciprocal relationship led to the creation of a librarian ethos in Hollywood libraries in which studio research departments would share materials with filmmakers and libraries of rival firms. Unlike the corporate mindset that dominated the executive ranks of studios, these researchers believed in their service role for the many film workers with reference questions who needed timely assistance regardless of their employer.

About the presenter
Aaron Rich received his Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His dissertation, "The Hollywood Research Library: Visual Knowledge in the Republic of Images," examined the critical role of visual research in the production of Hollywood movies and how American cinema relied on images from a long history of Western representation. Now an independent scholar, Rich recently began a Masters in Library and Information Science in USC's Marshall School of Business.