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, writings, 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.
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.
*The SJSU Special Collections Reading Room is currently closed to the public during the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order. We are available to answer research requests via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before coming to the Reading Room, maximize your time with these strategies:
1. Consult the Library Catalog (OneSearch), SJSU Digital Collections, and the Online Archive of California (OAC) to identify relevant materials. The library catalog can be searched for books and collections. The OAC is collection-specific and features finding aids for collections of personal papers and institutional records at SJSU.
2. If you need research advice, call the Reading Room at 408-808-2062 or e-mail email@example.com.
3. The Reading Room is open Mondays–Thursdays from 11-6, Fridays from 11-5, and Saturdays from 1-5. We are part of a secure area on the 5th floor of the MLK Library that includes our neighbors, the Center for Steinbeck Studies, the Center for Beethoven Studies, and the California Room.
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.
SJSU Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) is available to host visiting classes throughout the year to provide students with hands-on experience using rare books, fine press and artist books, as well as original correspondence, photographs, writings, artifacts, and other materials from our archival collections. Our books and collections are acquired to fit with the SJSU curriculum, including courses in History, Literature, Ethnic Studies, Art History, and Photography. Faculty are encouraged to contact Craig Simpson, Director of Special Collections & Archives, to discuss incorporating SC&A materials in class projects: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give us at least two weeks' notice before a proposed class visit as we have to check classroom availability and make a reservation.
To schedule a tour, either for an individual or a group, please contact us at: Special.Collections@sjsu.edu