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SJSU Special Collections & Archives: Welcome

Historical Research Topics and Collections

Special Collections Librarian

Rebecca Kohn
Interim Director of Special Collections and Library Liaison to Art and Art History.

Location & Hours

One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0028
408/808-2063 fax
King Library, 5th Floor
Room 560
Please Note:  The Reading Room be hosting special events on Thursday October 6th from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday October 22nd from 1-5 p.m. 
Monday - Thursday 11-6 PM
Friday 11-5 PM
Saturday 1-5 PM


About Special Collections

SJSU Special Collections & Archives exist to acquire, preserve, arrange, describe, and make accessible its rich holdings of secondary and primary materials to support the diverse teaching and research needs of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and the larger community. These collections document local, regional, and California history, with a specific focus on history, politics, literature, and art. In addition, the Department is responsible for documenting the history of the University, and has a large collection of university and faculty publications, administrative records, photographs, and ephemera.

SJSU Special Collections items are non-circulating, and use of fragile or archival materials will be permitted in the Special Collections Reading Room during open hours only. As a service to SJSU alumni, the Department provides photocopies of course descriptions and schedules for a fee, upon request, deliverable by U.S. mail.


Using SJSU Special Collections and Archives

Before coming to the Reading Room, maximize your time with these strategies:

1.  Consult the Library Catalog and the Online Archive of California to identify relevant materials.

2.  If you need research advice, call the Reading Room at 408.808.2062 or e-mail

3.  Check the hours the Reading Room is open.

When you arrive, we'll ask you to leave all food and drink outside the Reading Room, place belongings in the storage area, and to register with us.  

Tours and Seminars

SJSU Special Collections & Archives offers specialized workshops on archival research methods and analysis using print and digital primary resources, as well as providing students with hands-on experience using rare books, fine press and artist books, and primary sources for undergraduate and graduate students.

To schedule a specialized seminar please contact: 408-808-2061

New Materials and Collections

Rare Books


Special Events for Archives Month

Special Collections is celebrating National Archives Month in October with two events:

Thursday October 6th from 4-6 p.m. in the Reading Room we will be hosting our first "Thesis Topic Speed Dating" event to see if we can unite underresearched primary sources with researchers looking for original material.  This event is ideal for graduate students and upper division undergraduates who want to get up close and personal with manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and artists books. Don't be shy, come by Special Collections to see if the perfect thesis topic awaits you on the 5th floor.

Saturday October 22nd 1-5 We are collaborating with the California Room and the Sourisseau Academy to be a host site for the Santa Clara Valley Archives Crawl.  Come pick up the map of the 11 participating sites and head out to see how many archives you can visit in one day!  We will be displaying historic items from the University's past, including handwritten records, letters, and photos.  

Online Archives of California

Search the OAC  for SJSU Special Collections & Archives content:

New ! Digital Library

Search the digital collections of SJSU's Special Collections and SJPL's California Room.


San Jose State Normal School


Calisphere logo

Search Calisphere for primary sources.