Office of the Dean

Engage with the USC Libraries

Follow the links below to learn about the USC Libraries' plans for the future and share your views about the latest developments at the libraries. You can also explore our exhibitions and other cultural offerings.

Dean Quinlan's 2015 Season's Greetings

Holiday greetings from Dean Catherine Quinlan and the faculty and staff of the University of Southern California Libraries—how the people, collections, and programs of the USC Libraries contributed to discovery and new ways of knowing ourselves and the world in 2015.

Dean Quinlan's 2014 Season's Greetings

For this year's holiday greeting, Dean Quinlan invited multimedia artist and USC alumnus Dom Soo, BA '11, to interpret—in 60 seconds of video—a year's worth of discovery at the USC Libraries.

Dom's video embodies the results of his creative engagement with our Trojan libraries. Elements from our collections and programs that inspired Dom follow below:

00:08 Woman on phone, hallways, windows, and buildings images from the Dick Whittington Collection

00:14 Snowflakes, detail from Johann Hieronymus Kniphof, Botanica In Originali Pharmaceutica (Germany, 1733)

00:16 Moon in sky, courtesy David Boulé

00:23 Color wheel from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Zur Farbenlehre (Tübingen, 1810)

00:30 Kaleidoscope border from Book of hours, Northern France or Bruges, ca. 1460–1470

00:29 The Measure of All Things, from Victor Raphael and Clayton Spada, From Zero to Infinity series, 2013

00:30 Kaleidoscope mirrors from Ad. and Maurice Pillard Verneuil, Kaléidoscope, ornements abstraits(Paris, 1926)

00:35 Writing and equations from Albert Einstein, Generalized Theory of Gravitation, 1950

00:35 Circular drawing from Galileo Galilei, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche (Leiden, 1638)

00:42 Doheny Library time-lapse footage, courtesy Steve Salvidar

00:42 Rotating sky sequences, from Victor Raphael and Clayton Spada, From Zero to Infinity series, 2013

00:52 Wonderland Unbound, produced by 7StarSun with the USC Spring 2014 Animation Seminar


View the Dean's 2013 Holiday Card

Dean Quinlan's 2013 holiday card highlights a few of our many accomplishments over the past year and how the libraries continue to support the academic achievements of the USC community. We include a few highlights below with the full card accessible here.

The USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

Our USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study has begun offering its first-ever for-credit course—a yearlong multidisciplinary exploration of the history of Los Angeles taught by USC University Professor and Associate Dean of Libraries Kevin Starr. Through this class, we are bringing to bear our libraries’ preeminent regional history collections to advance Sidney Harman’s vision for a unique—and uniquely USC— polymathic approach to teaching and learning.

Master of Management in Library and Information Science program

We also have begun training a new generation of library leaders, in partnership with the Marshall School of Business, through our Master of Management in Library and Information Science program. Our first cohort joined us in May, and they are on track to become influential leaders in digital librarianship, academic librarianship, and libraries in urban environments.

Grant Successes and Library Collections

Thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, we’ve digitized nearly 40,000 at-risk photographic negatives from our Dick Whittington Collection that document the expansion of Los Angeles during the 20th century. And with grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Council on Library and Information Resources, the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries are on track to process and make discoverable its entire collection of LGBTQ research materials—the largest such collection in the world.

Wonderland Everywhere

April 17, 2014, will mark the 10th anniversary of the USC Libraries Wonderland Award. In anticipation of that milestone, we’ve begun a yearlong series of special events. Four Bay Area alumni groups convened in October for Wonderland Everywhere, Everywhere Wonderland—an evening showcasing our Cassady Lewis Carroll Collection and its contribution to intellectual life at USC. In November, we hosted the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and published the Liddell Book of Poetry, the first volume in a series of books celebrating USC students’ creative exploration of the world of Lewis Carroll.


View the Dean's 2012 Holiday Cubes


Click the cubes above to discover more about the accomplishments of our libraries in 2012.

The Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of the USC Libraries

USC Libraries received a $5-million donation from USC trustee Ronald Sugar and his wife Valerie to endow the Valerie and Ronald Sugar Dean’s Chair of the USC Libraries. The endowment will support collections acquisitions, expansion of the libraries’ digital activities, and the continuation of the Dean’s Challenge Grant program, which funds pilot projects and encourages innovation and creativity in the providing library collections and services to our community.

The USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

The Harman Family Foundation made a $10-million gift to endow the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study at the USC Libraries. The academy’s programs encourage critical and integrative thinking, the study of history’s great polymaths, and intellectual investigation that crosses the boundaries of traditional academic specialties. It is the only academy of its kind in the world. Sidney Harman was the academy’s founding chairman as well as the first Judge Widney Professor of Business at USC. He lectured at the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the USC School of Architecture. He also was the inaugural holder of the USC Isaias W. Hellman Chair of Polymathy. Both faculty positions were university-wide appointments. Sidney Harman died in 2011 at the age of 92.

The New USC Master’s of Management in Library and Information Science

In collaboration with the USC Marshall School of Business, the USC Libraries have launched a new, completely online master’s degree program in the management of library and information science. Our first students will arrive in May of 2013. Under the direction of Dr. Ken Haycock, program will focus on library leadership in three key arenas—academic librarianship, digital librarianship, and libraries in urban environments.

In addition, the Moore Foundation has recognized the potential of our program by establishing the Martha T. Boaz Memorial Scholarship Fund. Martha Boaz was a former dean of the previous USC library program, which graduated its final group of students in 1986. For more information on this new program, please contact Alexis Abad at

The Mosely Snowflake Fractal at the USC Libraries

More than 300 USC students and faculty, Foshay Learning Center middle school students and other volunteers built the Mosely Snowflake Fractal out of nearly 50,000 folded business cards. This collaborative community artwork is the culminating project of the 2011-12 USC Libraries Discovery Fellowship. Established by Dean Quinlan in 2011, the fellowship showcases the library as a place where disciplines intersect and where artists and scholars engage library collections and people to make possible surprising discoveries and creative works.


The Dean's 2011 Holiday Card

Dean Quinlan's 2011 holiday card highlights a few of our many accomplishments over the past year. To learn more about how the libraries have supported the academic achievements of the USC community, read our new strategic plan, The Essential Library 2011–2013; meet our inaugural Discovery Fellow, Margaret Wertheim; read about the Seventh Annual Wonderland Award, which welcomed students from other Southern California universities for the first time; explore Ruben Salazar's personal archives, which the late journalist's family entrusted to us earlier this year; and revisit the fifth biennial conference of the International Feuchtwanger Society and the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance annual meeting, the first two of three international academic conferences we are hosting during the 2011-2012 academic year.

The card features illustrations from Ernst Haeckel's 1904 book, Art Forms in Nature. Haeckel's work inspired Margaret Wertheim to curate The Marine Sublime, a special event that explored the intersections of art, science, nature, and culture.

More Updates

VIEW the dean’s 2010 holiday card, which highlights our work over the past year to support the academic achievements of our community. To learn more about our achievements in 2010, view the new instructional and collaborative learning spaces at the Science & Engineering and Accounting Libraries; watch a slideshow of photos from the 5th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, held for the first time in Doheny Memorial Library; and read about the our reprise of the landmark 1973 Festival de Flor y Canto.

WATCH a clip from Dean Quinlan's first Essential Conversation with Margaret Wertheim, a science writer, curator, and director of the Institute for Figuring. Wertheim, the co-creator of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, will join the USC Libraries in the fall of 2011 as our first Discovery Fellow.

READ essays by students from the USC School of Social Work selected for the university's inaugural publication for the Outstanding Academic Papers by Students (OAPS) program. The USC Libraries became the first North American research library to participate in the program with 11 prestigious Asian universities.

READ Lion Feuchtwanger's memoir, The Devil in France, which recounts the exiled German writer's escape from Europe during World War II. Our edition includes a foreword by Dean Quinlan and an introduction by Senior Associate Dean and Feuchtwanger Librarian Marje Schuetze-Coburn.

LEARN about L.A. as Subject, an association of Southern California historical collections and archives hosted by the USC Libraries. You can also read an L.A. Times article about the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar, view L.A. Observed's video from the 2008 event or visit the bazaar's Facebook page.

OUR 2009 HOLIDAY CARD features a small selection of our work to encourage discovery. To learn more about our achievements this year, view the interactive map of West Bank cultural sites in the USC Digital Library that recently won the Open Archaeology Prize, browse the California Historical Society collection, and explore the virtual exhibitions forFrom Zero to Infinity: the Story of Everything and the Callooh! Callay! retrospective of student entries for the USC Libraries Wonderland Award.

READ Dean Quinlan's foreword to Against the Eternal Yesterday, the USC Libraries' book of essays about the legacy of German emigre novelist Lion Feuchtwanger. You can also read chapters by Senior Associate Dean and Feuchtwanger Librarian Marje Schuetze-Coburn and Feuchtwanger Memorial Library curator Michaela Ullmann.

WATCH Dean Quinlan's 2008 State of the Libraries speech and share your thoughts.

READ about the future direction of the USC Libraries and let us know what you think.

LEARN about the USC Libraries' latest exhibition, Biblioclasm: The Assault on Ideas from Homer to Harry Potter.

GET INFORMATION about the USC Libraries administration and branch-library heads.

READ Dean Quinlan's installation speech, "Wise Men Lay Up Knowledge."