CVM Collections and Archives

Researcher Guidelines


Scholars, authors, archivists, curators, students, and other researchers working on bona fide topics are invited to call or write to inquire about the materials. Our Los Angeles office and research library are currently not open for appointments due to Covid-19 concerns.

Appointment availability: At present we are not able to offer onsite appointments due to Covid-19 concerns. Contact us for other access via digitized and online materials. We do not offer residencies.

(When CVM reopens) No bags, backpacks or large purses are permitted in the library. No photography or videotaping is allowed. No food or liquids may be brought into CVM, though there is a kitchen and lounge area for use near the office area.

Film and Video: Research copies of films may be available for viewing as digital files or on DVD. Many Fischinger, Belson and several Bute films are available on our DVD releases (see below). Our vimeo channel offers trailers and some complete films (on VOD).

(When CVM reopens) Appointments may be scheduled for viewing dvd/videos/files onsite; viewing time is billed at $25/hour (CVM members receive discounts and/or free viewing time). Discounts may be possible in certain situations (academic research on non-funded projects). CVM does not duplicate or provide copies from the viewing library. Through our online store or at our offices, we offer low cost DVDs for sale for private home use or for institutional (university and college) use. Materials from our store may be purchased online. For archival films not yet transferred, researchers have the option to pay the costs to digitize and view the films onsite. In some cases by special arrangement, CVM can provide a private link to view some films online. A few films are also offered on our Patreon channel.


Special Collections: Paper, Monographs, Periodicals.

During this time, contact us for offsite access, via digitized materials.

(When CVM reopens) Due to the volume of requests and available staffing, researchers requiring more than one appointment are charged small access fees (particularly those on commercial, museum, or other funded projects). Researchers will have access to photocopies of paper materials and/or digital surrogates. In most cases Researchers may not handle fragile original materials.

Please note that certain materials are restricted, unprocessed, or currently undergoing conservation, and may not be currently available. Finding aids are in progress for parts of our collections. Access to archival originals may be approved in selected cases, usually supervised by CVM staff. If you request archival originals to be retrieved from offsite storage vaults, a fee is charged.

Monograph and periodical materials are also available for research. Photocopying is billed at 25 cents per copy, more for oversize materials, with a limited amount possible onsite. Photocopy orders may be placed for additional and oversize materials; copies will normally be mailed within 2 weeks. Inquire re prices for scans. Some materials are restricted and may not be photocopied. No rights are granted for any reproduction or publication, all copyright and clearance issues are the responsibility of the researcher. All access fees and photocopy fees must be paid at the time of your visit.

Please contact us if you are unable to visit in person and wish to order photocopies or scans of non-restricted materials. You may also wish to view selected Fischinger and Bute materials on our Patreon channel.

Research Requests: There is no fee for basic research requests requiring under 10 minutes time. An hourly rate is charged for research requests requiring CVM staff's additional time, please inquire. CVM members receive a discount.

For researchers working on Fischinger, Belson, Bute or Dockum: CVM maintains research sites for each of these artists. Please review the online resources including biographies, bibliographies, filmographies and more, links on CVM's artists sites.

Other Materials: Please inquire re access to photographic materials, animation drawings, artifacts or other materials. Reproduction requests for photographic materials may be granted in certain cases, subject to rights clearance and copyright holder restrictions. Please contact CVMaccess (at)

CVM is able to license images for the works of Oskar Fischinger, Jordan Belson, Charles Dockum, Mary Ellen Bute and selected other artists, for approved requests.

Exhibition Research: Selected original materials may be viewed for consideration for exhibition loans, to qualified major institutions. Please contact us, providing full details on your exhibition, institution, and materials requested for research/viewing. Previous approved loans have included Fischinger animation drawings, artwork, papers and process materials, and Mary Ellen Bute photographs.

NEW Research Resource: CVM maintains a Research Errata page, referencing common errors in visual music scholarship, and errata in recent publications.


Please direct questions and inquiries to

Center for Visual Music

email: cvmaccess (at) gmail (dot) com

last modified summer 2021

Yes, I want to help support CVM's preservation and access programs by making a donation via credit card (secure server). CVM is a non- profit 501(c) 3, donations are tax deductible.


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