Library Collections

The Huntington Library is one of the world's great independent research libraries, with more than 11 million items spanning the 11th to 21st centuries.

New acquisitions build on existing curatorial areas and establish new areas of inquiry. These extraordinary and diverse materials are centered on 14 intersecting collection strengths.

American History

A busy tinted historical photo of cowboys on horses.

The Library is home to hundreds of archival collections and over 200,000 single manuscripts, books, prints, photographs, and ephemera documenting the history of what is now the Northeast, Midwest, and South of the United States, as well as the Atlantic and Central regions of Canada, from the colonial era through the end of World War II.

Architecture

An architectural drawing from the 1920s.

The Huntington's principal architecture and planning holdings relate to Southern California. As the result of focused collecting activity from the late 1970s on, the Library now holds approximately 35,000 plans, renderings, photographs, and project records from around 1900 through the 1950s.

British History

Wolton Underwood Court Rolls

The Huntington Library is one of the most significant repositories in the world for British history. Areas of strength are politics, law, diplomacy, aristocratic and gentry family life, religion, gender and sexuality, the economy, the military and navy, colonial expansion and administration, and slavery and the slave trade.
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Early Printed Books

Line drawing of 17th century people gathered around a chess game.

The Huntington's collection of over 400,000 books from the hand-press era is one of the world's richest sources for the printed record of Great Britain and the United States.

Hispanic History and Culture

Text from a 16th century Spanish manuscript

The Huntington's Hispanic collections contain printed and manuscript materials, maps, and photographs from countries where Spanish has been the predominant language or continues as a strong cultural presence.

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Color drawing of the muscles of the face

The Huntington's history of science collection is one of the largest and most important in North America, with holdings ranging from a 13th century Ptolemy Almagest manuscript to modern civil engineering reports and aerospace archives.

Literature in English

Part of some notes for a book written in blue, black and red markers

The Library's formidable strengths in literature reflect Henry E. Huntington's focus on the history and culture of English-speaking peoples. The Ellesmere Chaucer and outstanding Shakespeare and Renaissance print holdings anchor the broad and deep collections.

Maps and Atlases

A 16th century map features African content and lands to the East.

The Huntington has a rich and varied selection of European and American cartographic material that supports historical and geographical research and includes numerous rarities.

Medieval Manuscripts

Part of a handwritten page of text plus a drawing of someone on a horse.

The Huntington possesses one of the largest collections of British medieval manuscripts in the Western hemisphere.

Prints, Posters, and Ephemera

lithographer print

The Huntington holds 900,000 historical prints, posters, and ephemera that date mostly from the late 1700s to the 1960s.

Photography

Black and white image of a family on a ship deck, 1878.

The Huntington Library's over 800,000 photographs date from the 1850s to the present and include outstanding examples of a wide variety of print and negative processes and photographic formats.

Pacific Rim

Part of a Chinese leishu encyclopedia from mid-1500s.

The Huntington Library houses an array of materials for the study of the Pacific Rim, a region of immense breadth, with a diverse network of people, cultures, and societies.

California

Part of a Western Union telegram has typed purple letters in all caps.

Encompassing more than 300 archival collections, the Huntington's California holdings are of the first rank for the study of the state's history.

Western American History

A painting of the majestic mountains of the Grand Canyon, 1871.

The Huntington Library is a leading repository of original sources on the trans-Mississippi West, incuding the J. Goldsborough Bruff drawings, the Fort Sutter papers, and the William G. Ritch Collection of New Mexico manuscripts.