Research Services

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Information on how to ask reference questions, access the Helzel Collection Study Room, and obtain permissions to reproduce images of the holdings of the Magnes Collection.

The Magnes Collection is currently processing the Roman Vishniac Archive. Materials from the archive are not yet available.

The Magnes provides a number of ways to access resources.

Magnes holdings reside in two locations: The Magnes building at 2121 Allston Way in downtown Berkeley and The Bancroft Library on the UC Berkeley campus.

The Magnes Collection

2121 Allston Way, Berkeley

The Museum holdings of The Magnes encompass two main areas: Jewish Art and Jewish Life. In addition, The Magnes has a reference library of secondary literature about the role of art in Jewish culture and society, including archival documentation on the Magnes research, exhibitions, and public programs since 1962.

Access to Museum holdings is available for research and teaching purposes in the Florence Helzel Collection Study. Requests to view materials must be made at least three weeks in advance. For other conditions of use, see the Magnes Holdings Access Policy.

Bancroft Library

UC Berkeley Campus

The Bancroft Library is the primary special collections library at UC Berkeley. It supports major research and instructional activities and plays a leading role in the development of the university’s research collections.

The Western Jewish Americana archives of the Magnes within the Western Americana Collection at the Bancroft Library comprises over six hundred manuscript and pictorial holdings. Inquiries and requests regarding access to Magnes holdings housed in the Bancroft Library should be directed to Bancroft Library public services staff.

Research Inquiries and Access

Researchers are encouraged to make full use of this website, as well as the following online tools:

Requests for access to Magnes holdings for research or teaching are by appointment only.

Please complete the Ask Reference Questions form below or contact our Public Services at

Due to a large number of incoming requests, please allow for up to three weeks for a reply to your message.

Ask Reference Questions

This form is designed to help the curatorial staff of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life provide reference services that are responsive to your needs. Information provided in this form is strictly confidential and will only be used for internal purposes.

The form may be used to ask reference questions about the holdings of the Magnes, to inquire about research access to the collections, and to request the curatorial review of proposed in-kind gifts.

Before submitting requests, please review the Research Information page.

Research requests will be answered as soon as possible.

The Magnes Collection is currently processing the Roman Vishniac Archive. Materials from the archive are not yet available.

Have you researched at the Magnes before?*

General Purpose of Research*

May we contact you with updates about the collections?*

Permission to use Magnes Images

Taube Family Arthur Szyk  Collection

The Magnes only grants licenses for images of artworks that are part of the Taube Family Arthur Szyk Collection at the Magnes itself. For an entire list of Szyk works in the holdings, please search the Magnes database by entering the collection’s accession root number 2017.5.1 in the Identifying numbers search field.

Roman Vishniac Archive

The Roman Vishniac Archive is currently undergoing a comprehensive inventory. Permission requests will be considered after the inventory is complete.

Additional Magnes Holdings

For permissions in other holdings of the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, complete the Ask Reference Questions form.

Once you  have determined which items in the Magnes Collection you would like to obtain images and permissions for, please send an email that includes title, accession  number, reason for the request, and details about the expected usage to
Due to a large number of incoming requests, please allow up to three weeks for staff to reply to your message.