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 the 21st century.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Huntington’s collection of the history of science 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.

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.

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

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

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

The Huntington Library’s more than 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.

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.

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

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