Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Library Inventory and Accession Records, 1954-1965, 1977
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (79.72 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative History
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Library inventory and accession records
    Date (inclusive): 1954-1965, 1977
    Number: IA20001
    Creator/Collector: J. Paul Getty Museum
    Physical Description: 0.2 linear feet (1 Box)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Institutional Records and Archives
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The records comprise inventories, lists, and accession records from the museum and library, listing J. Paul Getty's personal books and furniture in the museum, reference books in the library, and books purchased for the library of the J. Paul Getty Museum, from 1954 to 1965, and 1977.
    Request Materials: To access physical materials at the Getty, go to the library catalog record  for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for general library access policy . See the Administrative Information section of this finding aid for access restrictions specific to the records described below. Please note, some of the records may be stored off site; advanced notice is required for access to these materials.
    Language: Collection material is in English

    Administrative History

    The J. Paul Getty Museum was established as a charitable trust in 1953 by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty in order to house his growing art collections. The J. Paul Getty Museum originally opened in 1954 in two rooms of Mr. Getty's Ranch House in the Pacific Palisades near Malibu, California. Each year the number of museum visitors increased, and though Mr. Getty curtailed his art acquisitions activities beginning in 1958, the museum continued to grow. The development of the library began during the mid to late 1950s primarily to meet the needs of Museum curators. In the early years the library was located in the curator's office between the Ranch House and the Conservation area.
    In the fall of 1968 Mr. Getty decided to build a separate museum facility on the Ranch House property. The new museum facility, later referred to as the Getty Villa, opened to the public on January 16, 1974. The library moved to the basement of the Villa upon completion of the building. In 1983 the Museum received J. Paul Getty's estate funds, the trust's name was officially changed from the J. Paul Getty Museum Trust to the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the museum retained the name the J. Paul Getty Museum. In an effort to contribute to the field of art and art history the Trust developed several programs. In 1983 the library began by the Museum in the 1950s became part of the program the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities (GCHAH). The GCHAH was later renamed the Getty Research Institute (GRI). Today the GRI is home to one of the largest art libraries in the world.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    The records described in accessions 1986.IA.44 and 2009.IA.35 are available for use by qualified researchers.
    The following records are permanently closed: records containing personal information, records that compromise security or operations, legal communications, legal work product, and records related to donors. The J. Paul Getty Trust reserves the right to restrict access to any records held by the Institutional Archives.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    [Cite the item.] Library Inventories and Accession Records, 1954-1965, 1977, J. Paul Getty Museum. Institutional Archives, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Finding aid no. IA20001.

    Acquisition Information

    The material was originally part of accession no. 1986.IA.01 but was assigned no. 1986.IA.44 in January 2006 for purposes of providing better administrative control. Accession 2009.IA.35 was accepted as part of the Legacy Records Appraisal Project in 2009.

    Processing History

    Initial inventory created by intern post-2003; records were processed and finding aid was created by Sue Luftschein, April 14, 2005. The inventory of reference books has been xeroxed for preservation purposes due to the deterioriating condition of the originals. In 2009 Cyndi Shein processed material accessioned during the Legacy Records Appraisal Project and revised the finding aid accordingly.

    Related Archival Materials Note

    The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the people, programs, and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.
    Contributing Institution: Getty Research Institute

    [Cite the item and series (as appropriate)], Architectural records, 1980-1984, 1991 and undated, Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities. Institutional Archives, Research Library, Getty Research Institute, Finding aid no. IA20015.

    [Cite the item (as appropriate)], Administration records, 1950–1983, undated, J. Paul Getty Trust. Institutional Records and Archives, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Finding aid no. IA10003. [In process.]

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The records consist of inventories, lists, and accession records from the museum and library of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The inventories detail J. Paul Getty's personal books housed in the museum, his books from the house, inventory of furniture from the main house (in museum offices), and reference books in the library, 1954-1964. Accession records detail books purchased for the library, and include check numbers, amount paid, publisher or vendor, title, accession number, and catalog number, and are dated 1954-1965. The 1977 material contains an inventory of books, which were 50 years or older as of 1977, that were sent from the Getty-Union Bank Building and the Getty Ranch House to the J. Paul Getty Museum.


    The papers are arranged according to type of list, inventory or accession record, and are in rough chronological order.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Getty, J. Paul (Jean Paul), 1892-1976

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    J. Paul Getty Museum

    Subjects - Topics

    Art museums--Library resources

    Genres and Forms of Material