The Library and Archives of the Autry Museum collects books, sound recordings, and printed materials related to the history, geography, fine arts, and material, popular and consumer culture of the American West. Archival materials and artifacts related to Los Angeles cover Spanish California, and Southern California history, tourism, and industry predominately from the late 1800s to mid-1900s. Archival collections document the West of the imagination and the Hollywood cowboy that include posters, scripts, press kits, fan letters, costume designs, scrapbooks, and publicity stills that document the growth of the film and television industry as well as key personalities in the field. The Library and Archives also have Southern California collections related to books and serials on tribal histories, government, and social life and customs of the native peoples, a large photo archive, more than 700 wax cylinder recordings of Mexican American and Native American songs recorded by Charles F. Lummis between 1895 and 1912 in the Southern California area, manuscript materials strong in local history and the history of American anthropology. The collection includes approximately 50,000 books and serials, 2,000 sound recordings, 3,000 maps, 147,000 photographs, 3,000 works of art on paper, and 700 manuscript collections.
The mission of the Library and Archives is to provide exemplary stewardship for our renowned collections, inspire scholarship by a multidisciplinary research community, and fuel discussion about the past, present and future of the American West. We actively connect Autry visitors to book and archive collections in exhibition galleries and public programs, through engaging outreach and diverse collaborations.