UCLA’s William Andrews Clark Memorial Library is ready for the future. The archival and architectural treasure is home to the university’s renowned collection of rare books and manuscripts from England’s Tudor period through the 18th century, including the world’s largest repository of materials related to Oscar Wilde. After being closed for more than two years, as of Jan. 21, the Clark is officially reopen to the public and scholars.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand reopening celebration, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block noted that Clark’s gift of the property to UCLA in 1934 was the first major gift to what was then a young university.
“Libraries are critical to the mission of a research university,” Block said. “The Clark is one of the most beautiful libraries in America, but beyond its physical beauty it is hard to overstate the significance of what it provides in scholarship and research.”
[Helen] Deutsch [director of UCLA’s Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies and the Clark Library] said she plans to continue prioritizing access, preservation and conservation of the 1926 building as well as its eclectic and prolific collections of artwork, rare books and manuscripts.
“We have so much valuable material at the Clark,” Deutsch said. “The art collection alone has never been fully cataloged, and a grant from the Mellon Foundation will let us begin doing that right away.”