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Visual Artists & Cinematic Research

Whether it is a period story requiring accuracy or a fantasy needing inspiration – superior research is necessary to all visual artists.

A research library is invaluable to the entertainment industry's, motion picture, television and live theatrical productions.  Themed entertainment, the graphic arts, architecture, interior design, print, as well as, documentarians, journalists, scholars, and historians will also enjoy the benefits of this unique research library.

Producers, writers, directors, production designers, art directors, set designers, illustrators, set decorators, graphic designers, property masters, costume designers, and educators will all be able to utilize and come to depend upon the Michelson Research library, which in time, will become the IMDB for cinematic research world-wide.

The Michelson Library 2023

The Michelson Library was brought under ADG guardianship in 2013, a general content inventory (for decontamination, re-boxing, and appraisal purposes) was conducted in 2014.

None of the Library’s materials can be found online. Offers of donation of the The Michelson Library have been made to AMPAS, ADG, AFI, UCLA, USC, Chapman College, PHI Stoa, The Ransom Center, Zoetrope, and Lucas Film LTD and all have declined the library as a gift.  

The most common response being that the Library is not regarded as essential or relevant to their program’s core mission and that it was beyond the scope of work of their core staff’s expertise. All are willing to accept artifacts from finished works, i.e. Dorothy's Red Shoes, but none wanted the intellectual and creative tools that were required to imagine and realize the past or, that would be useful for future productions.

In January, 2021, the Michelson Library was acquired
by the Internet Archive.  Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, explained why his organization was willing to accept the entire Michelson collection and keep it intact: “A library is more than a collection of books. It is the center of a community. For decades, the Michelson Cinema Research Library informed Hollywood—and we want to see that continue.

The first 1400+ books and photos have been scanned. 1 million more items await.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization.

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A Movie is only as good as it’s research!  -Harold Michelson

Michelson Library Inventory
Box count is 1,594 boxes stored on 45 pallets

5,000 apx.BOOKS:
All out of print Books, earliest editions date to early 1800’s


PERIODICALS: 5,000 apx.
Many Historic & Rare Periodicals dating to the early 20th century

PHOTOGRAPHS: 30,000 apx.
Studio commissioned Architectural Research Studies & Motion Picture Set Stills

MEMORABILIA: 5,000 apx.

Graphics, Sketches, Set Drafting, Studio Production Notebooks & Ephemera

VISUAL FILES: 3,000 folders apx.

Clippings & Photos, all index by subject


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