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Special Collections & University Archives

This is an academic guide for resources in Stanislaus State Library's Special Collections and University Archives.

Getting Started with Special Collections and University Archives

Welcome to the Library's Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA)!  SCUA is a repository for primary research materials of interest to the campus, the community, and the Central Valley region.  The primary purpose of Special Collections at Stanislaus State is to support faculty teaching and student learning and research. Special Collections is comprised of donated and purchased collections relevant to disciplines taught at Stanislaus State University and to the university’s six-county service area of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Calaveras Counties.

Collection strengths include University primary source materials and publications, local and regional history books and documents, local history manuscript collections, oral histories, Stanislaus County historical documents, and photographic collections.

The primary purpose of Special Collections at Stanislaus State University is to support faculty teaching and student learning and research. Special Collections accessions donated and purchased collections relevant to disciplines taught at Stanislaus State University and to the university’s six-county service area. Special Collections provides digital discovery of collections via electronic finding aids in ArchivesSpace and MARC catalog records for Special Collection items (published monographs) on OneSearch, and hosted in appropriate locations. Special Collections encourages research skills instruction sessions in special collection research methods or with special collection materials. Special Collections digitizes entire collections (or sub series of collections) which support K-12 through graduate education content. Special Collections consists of two principal divisions, Local History Collections & Archives and University Archives.

Local History Collections & Archives is a repository for materials documenting the intellectual, multicultural, social, political and economic history of the Stanislaus State University’s six-county service area of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Calaveras Counties.

It contains unpublished materials such as oral history interviews, pamphlets, letters, diaries, journals, ledgers, pictures, etc. from local business, organizations, private citizens, and state and federal elected representatives.

Also included are published materials such as maps, books, and periodicals, specifically local news clippings, special issues of local newspapers, and print runs of several local 19th and early 20th century newspapers.

Local History Collections & Archives collects examples of fine printing by regional printers and presses as well as printers and presses important in the history of the book, limited numbered editions, and rare book association copies which provide a context for regional printers and presses.

The collection does not include local government records. Local government documents should be preserved and cared for by the local government entity with that constitutional responsibility.

Formats of Materials Collected

The library acquires through gift or purchase materials in various formats, including unpublished papers and records, books, periodicals, maps, photographs, film and other visual media, and sound recordings which it has the ability to preserve.

Stanislaus State University Service Area

  • Calaveras County
  • Mariposa County
  • San Joaquin County
  • Tuolumne County
  • Merced County (leave to UC Merced)

Stanislaus County

  • Ceres
  • Denair
  • Hughson
  • Knights Ferry
  • La Grange
  • Modesto
  • Newman
  • Oakdale
  • Patterson
  • Riverbank
  • Salida
  • Turlock / Waterford

University Archives is a repository for pertinent, original materials of enduring value relating to the history, growth, development, and campus culture of Stanislaus State University since its founding in 1957. The University Archives serves as the institutional memory by accessioning, processing, and preserving materials supporting the research and study of Stanislaus State University. The University Archives contains material from many divisions of the Stanislaus State community and other appropriate CSU educational agencies.

University Archives is actively collecting the following areas:

  • Theses and Dissertations, all theses sponsored by Stanislaus State University graduate programs.
  • Serials Included here are the Stanislaus State University catalog, class schedules, yearbooks, news bulletins, and serial ephemera from campus agencies such as departments, centers, and institutes.
  • Administrators, documents are from the Stanislaus State University presidents, vice presidents, deans, and other administrators.
  • Faculty, personal papers on research, grants, and special awards.
  • Student Body Included here are materials from Stanislaus State University student body agencies, residential services, student services, and alumni.
  • Photo File The photos found in this file are of both campus personnel and campus facilities from the beginning of CSU, Stanislaus history. There are also 100 pictures stored digitally in a computer database.

University Archives contains but is no longer actively collecting in the following areas:

  • Administration, materials from Stanislaus State University administrative agencies and personnel, and are primarily minutes of meetings, budgets, policy statements, and memoranda of various types. Specifically, these documents are from administrative agencies such as human resources and plant operation,
  • Curriculum, materials from the academic areas at Stanislaus State University such as academic departments, professional schools, curriculum committees, academic centers and institutes, Admissions and Records, and off-campus programs. Additionally, accreditation documents, special academic programs, consortium, extended education, and course syllabi.
  • CSU Board of Trustees, materials from the board and are primarily minutes of meetings, directives, and memorandum of various types.
  • CSU Chancellor's Office, materials from the Chancellor's office, primarily minutes of meetings, directives, and memoranda of various types.

Special Files:

  • Newspaper Clipping File: Articles clipped from local newspapers providing coverage of the university.
  • Oral History Project File: This file contains audio tapes of interviews with and written accounts by retired campus personnel. It is their story concerning Stanislaus State University.

Miscellaneously housed in Special Collections are materials which require a measure of additional library security because of their format, condition, content, value, rarity, or difficulty of replacement such as:

  • Portfolios of loose plates and books of hybrid or unconventional formats.
  • Miniature books (less than 14 cm. in height).
  • Books which might be mutilated or stolen because of their content; e.g., illustrated books on sex or erotica, art books with fine art plates.
  • Books valued at $500.00 or more

Video Gallery: Tutorials & Exhibits

Discover Archives and Special Collections

Discover the University's Special Collections and Archives.

ArchivesSpace includes finding aids, archive records, and digital objects.  Click image below to access!

Watch a brief video about using finding aids in ArchivesSpace.