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 state, county and local Covid-19 restrictions. We anticipate reopening later in 2021. Appointments are required, usually with a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. Most material is stored offsite and must be retrieved before your visit. Appointments are made for one person at a time, unless special arrangements are necessary. CVM usually can only offer appointments Tues-Fri, for periods between noon - 6pm. We are unable to offer residencies.

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

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.

Parking is available at several parking lots near CVM. There is free street parking several blocks west on Orange, and on streets around Orange, for 2 or 4 hours. There are many cafes and restaurants in the immediate area.

Film and Video: Research copies of films may be available for viewing as digital files or on DVD. Special arrangements may be made to view selected works on 35mm or 16mm film offsite, with fees charged for projection.

(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, or on premises via credit card or cash. For archival films not yet transferred, researchers have the option to pay the costs to digitize and view the films onsite. In some cases CVM can provide a private link to view some films online.


Special Collections: Paper, Monographs, Periodicals. Access is permitted on-site and by appointment only. 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, minimum $100.

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.

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.

Other Materials: Please inquire re access to photographic materials, animation drawings, 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.

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
phone 213-683-1514


Last modified January 2021

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