Use Primo Search to discover Library resources and more:

The library is open to all inquiries from visitors on a drop-in or appointment basis.

Three levels of Reader privileges are available to researchers who intend to visit in person and access library materials. On-site visitors can access current periodicals, Getty publications, and art reference books located in the Plaza Reading Room without becoming a reader.

Before Your First Visit

Before contacting or visiting the library, search for items at libraries near you. Ask your local library about Interlibrary Loan options. With the exception of Interlibrary Loan, the Research Library is a non-circulating library.

Consult our online discovery system, Primo Search, to identify items relevant to your research.

  • Some materials have been digitized and are available via Primo Search, without visiting the library or becoming a reader.
  • Eighty percent of the collection is in storage either on-site or off-site. Twenty percent of the general collection is in the open stacks.
  • Access to General Collections material is determined by location and the Circulation paging schedule.
  • Access to Special Collections material is by appointment only, with at least two weeks' advance notice. During peak times more than two weeks' advance notice may be necessary to secure an appointment. It is highly recommended to have a confirmed seat reservation in the Special Collections Reading Room before finalizing any travel arrangements.

First-Time Visitors

A first-time visitor can apply to become a Reader either by submitting an online Research Library Request Form or by completing an application in person at the Reference Desk. The benefit of submitting the online form is that it is possible to request materials in advance of your visit.

Please be aware that you may not be able to see any materials on your first day if you have not contacted us prior to your visit.

1. Apply online through Research Library Request Form

Submit a Research Library Request Form.

After we receive your request, a staff member will contact you by email to negotiate and finalize your desired visit dates.

You will be provided with a Patron ID number, instructions on how to request material through Primo Search, and information for your arrival to the library.

2. Apply in person

Visit the Reference Desk in the Getty Research Institute during regular library hours, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Monday–Friday. Bring a government-issued photo ID and proof of institutional affiliation (if applicable).

At the Reference Desk, you will complete a Reader registration form. We will take photocopies of your IDs and issue a Patron ID number.

If you have any additional questions regarding access in the Research Library, contact the Reference Desk at (310) 440-7390.