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SJSU Special Collections & Archives

Historical Research Topics and Collections

Searching for Books

The best way to search for books in Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) is via OneSearch, the online catalog for King Library. Our holdings include rare books, artist books, fine press books, and books pertaining to our subject strengths in SC&A, such as African-American Studies, Women's Studies, History of California and the Bay Area, Politics, Social Movements and Organizations, and LGBTQ. Individually catalogued items of correspondence, photographs, pamphlets, and ephemera separate from our aggregate collections may also be found via OneSearch.

Watch the following video tutorial for a step-by-step process on how to use OneSearch to find books and individually catalogued items in SC&A.

Go to OneSearch.


Using Finding Aids

Finding aids (FAs) are online inventories or collection guides that offer a description of the contents of a collection, as well as contextual information like the donor or creator, the size (i.e., extant) of the collection, its scope (i.e., date-range of the materials), a biographical or historical summary, and copyright information. The description on the FA will follow the physical arrangement of the boxes that comprise the collection.

Whether large or small, SC&A collections are usually divided into "series," which are groupings of materials occasionally by subject and often by format, such as correspondence, photographs, business records, legal records, artwork, and artifacts (i.e., physical objects). Taking time to familiarize yourself with the FA will make the process of searching for items in the collection faster and easier.

FAs are located on the SC&A website via the OAC (Online Archive of California). The following video tutorial will show you how to search for and navigate our finding aids.

Go to the OAC.

Searching Digital Collections

Digital surrogates of physical items are found in SC&A Digital Collections. Photographs comprise the bulk of our digital objects. There are also digitized correspondence, pamphlets, posters, artwork, yearbooks, and other materials. Approximately 28 of our collections have been either completely or partly digitized, with more on the way.

Watch the following video tutorial for a demonstration on how to conduct a search in SC&A Digital Collections.

Go to Digital Collections.