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After Searching for a Decade,Legendary Hollywood Research Library Finds a New Home

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

by Wendy Hanamura Need to know what an Igloo really looks like? How about a Siberian hut? Or the inside of a 15th Century jail? For 50 years in Hollywood, generations of filmmakers would beat a path to the Michelson Cinema Research Library, where renowned film researcher Lillian Michelson could hunt down the answer to just about any question. She was the human card catalogue to a library of more than one million books, photos, periodicals and clippings.

Lillian Michelson in the stacks of her Library
Over more than 50 years, Lillian Michelson built one of Hollywood’s most famous libraries for film research.

But ever since Lillian retired a decade ago, the Michelson Cinema Research Library has been languishing in cold storage, looking for a home. Now it has found one. Lillian Michelson, 92, announced that she is donating her library and life’s work to the Internet Archive. For its part, the nonprofit digital library vows to preserve her collection for the long-term and digitize as much of it as possible, making it accessible to the world....more ›

Lillian Michelson will preside over a virtual ribbon cutting, panel discussion, and a screening of the documentary "Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story" on Wednesday, January 27 from 4-6:30 PM Pacific time. Lillian will unveil the first phase of her new digital library, available to the world via the Internet Archive’s digital platform at:

Sign up for the screening event here ›

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