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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - SJSU Special Collections & Archives

Last Updated: 2018

Mission Statement

SJSU Special Collections & Archives acquires, preserves, arranges, describes, and provides access to its rich, diverse holdings of rare and unique books, manuscript collections, institutional records, and other primary sources to support the diverse teaching and research needs of students, faculty, staff, and the larger SJSU community. The Department is the central repository for the history of San José State University and has a large collection of university, faculty, and student publications, administrative records, photographs, and ephemera. Of particular interest are materials of archival value pertaining to California State Politics, Social Activism, Chicano History and Culture, Women’s Studies, LGBTQ Studies, California and U.S. History, and other holdings of local, regional, and national significance.

Special Collections & Archives is dedicated to acquiring books and collections that enhance our department’s strengths as well as increase the diversification of our holdings, in formats as well as subjects, e.g., original correspondence; manuscripts; photographs; financial and legal records; pamphlets; journals; artwork; and artifacts. The Department is also active in digital initiatives and welcomes physical materials that may be digitized, as well as born-digital or electronic records.

Contact Information

Questions about donations of books, collections, or other archival materials may be sent to Craig Simpson, Director, Special Collections & Archives, 808-408-2061,

Materials Collected

Each area listed below supports the mission of San José State University, and aligns with the curriculum requirements in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

  • California History: The Department collects primary works relevant to the history of the University, San José, Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley, the greater Bay Area, Northern California, and the State of California. We collect published and unpublished works, including quality photographic collections that document local community history, organizational records and personal papers that document grassroots social and political movements, and collections that document the rich ethnic and multicultural heritage of the region and state during the late 19th and 20th centuries.
  • California Literature: The Department collects fine press and artist books. The fine press collection is particularly strong in Beat Poetry and includes limited editions from Grabhorn, Nash, Arion, and other small presses in the Bay Area. The focus on fine press and artist books aligns with the curriculum in the Art and English, and directly supports the teaching and learning objectives in the arts and humanities.
  • Manuscript Collections:  The Department collects high-quality manuscript collections that actively document society and politics in the South Bay, including papers of local and state elected officials and Congressional representatives, personal papers and organizational records, photographs, oral histories, and other non-text based materials. These collections provide important primary sources for student and faculty scholarship, and closely align with the curriculum needs in the humanities and social sciences.
  • University Archives: The Department collects records from the Office of the President, the Academic Senate, Associated Students, as well as collecting university publications, alumni records, and other materials that document student and campus life from the formation of the first State Normal School to the present. Institutional records from administrations, schools and departments, library administration, faculty and student organizations may include administrative files, news clippings, scrapbooks, and a variety of ephemera and artifacts. We also seek donations of original correspondence, writings, photographs, scrapbooks, memoirs, ephemera, and small-scale artifacts.