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The Getty Research Institute


The Getty Research Institute

The Getty Research Institute is housed within the J. Paul Getty Museum which also contains a Conservation Institute and a Leadership Institute. The Getty Research Institute has a library of 800,000 volumes and important archives for provenance research. It has an on-line research catalogue, provenance index databases, digital resources and a photo collection database. In addition, it organises lectures, symposia, exhibitions and has a publication programme.

The Research Library  has a database of 500,000 bibliographic records for the books, journals and auction catalogues, and records for about 3,000 archival and photographic collections comprising about two million photographs. The Library has two searchable on-line catalogues: IRIS and Photo Study Collection Database. The auction catalogues consist of over 110,000 volumes from the 17th century to the present day.  Consult the Research Library's holdings in the online catalogue.

The Research Library has unique archival records regarding  the looting and subsequent disposal of Nazi-era assets. Some of these resources are listed online in the Guide to Holocaust-Era Research Resources.

In addition to records useful for provenance research and post-war art dealings, they include the files of investigators for the Monument and Fine Arts and Archives (MFA&A) sub-Commission. This was a British and US organisation set up in 1943 to protect works of art from destruction in war-torn Europe. It was composed of art historians, museum curators, archivists and librarians. Towards the end of the war the MFA&A was active in investigations of individuals and agencies involved in looting and in the subsequent preservation and restitution of art.

Among the Nazi era archives in the Getty Institute are:

  • Douglas Cooper, Papers. ca. 1933-1945. During World War II Cooper served as an investigator attached to the British MFA&A. Included within the Douglas Cooper papers are a series entitled 'Papers relating to Nazi art collections, 1940-46'. Box 42 contains war-related correspondence and reports, Beltrand appraisals of paintings confiscated by the ERR; OSS (Office of Strategic Services) Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 2 and Consolidated Interrogation Report No. 4, and other papers. Box 43 contains a photographic reproduction of correspondence with Walter Andreas Hofer, the curator of the art collection amassed by Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring.
  • Ellis K. Waterhouse Notebooks and research files. Waterhouse served as an investigator attached to the MFA&A in 1945 in Holland and Germany.
  • Otto Wittmann, Collection of Papers relating to Wittmann's work in the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU)of the U.S. War Department's Office of Strategic Services 1945-1946. February 2019: Finding Aid created for the Otto Wittmann Papers Relating to the Art Looting Investigation Unit of the United States Office of Strategic Services. Otto Wittmann was a key member of the Art Looting Investigation Unit (ALIU), aiding in its efforts to gather and analyze intelligence on and uncover art looted by Nazi Germany. The archive, held at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, documents his work across Europe in 1946—particularly in Germany, France, and Switzerland—through personal notes, meeting agendas and notes, draft analyses, and news clippings, among other ephemera. Once his work with the ALIU was completed, Wittmann joined the staff of the Toledo Museum of Art and went on to become its long-time director. To view the finding aid, click here.
  • Fine Arts (Special Services). Dutch Restitution Committee. Detailed Interrogation Report No. 1: Kajetan Mühlmann and the Dienststelle Mühlmann (typescript), 25 December 1945. The report provides details of the trade in looted property by the Dienststelle Mühlmann including inventories of looted artworks.
  • Ardelia Hall records (microfilm of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) holdings). 'These include microfilm copies of over 50,000 property cards from the Central Collecting Point, Munich; records of works of art looted by Göring and stored at Berchtesgaden; records of looted works of art stored at Alt Aussee and destined for Hitler's Linz Museum; and detailed records of post-war restitution.

    Contact Information
    The Getty Research Institute
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles CA 90049-1688
    Tel: +1 310 440 7335
    General Research Institute inquiries: Contact GRI Web
    The Research Library at the Getty Research Institute <>, first accessed on 20 November 2002.  Link updated 16 July 2007. Updated 2020/

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