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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.

Primary Collection Highlights

University Archives

The University Archives serves as a repository for materials documenting the history of California State University, Stanislaus and includes retrospective campus publications such as newsletters, catalogs, press releases, photographs, the Signal student newspaper, campus yearbooks, as well as other documents and ephemera representing various campus entities. The archives also holds collections of oral history interviews, audiovisual materials, and campus photographs. The oral history interviews date from the 1980s and represent a cross-section of significant CSU Stanislaus faculty, staff, and administrators. The archives holds one archival copy of each CSU Stanislaus master’s thesis or project. A second circulating copy of Stanislaus master's theses and projects is shelved in the MAIN library collection and can be searched using the University Library Catalog. 

Rare Book, local history, and fine press book collection

The Special Collections holds a small rare book/ local history collection. This collection of approximately 1000 volumes consists of an array of early printed books dating back to the 17th century. Also incorporated into the collection are more recent titles of special interest to researchers of California and local history. Included here is a representative group of California fine press titles, with a focus on the history of the California and the West generally. Smaller gatherings of poetry chapbooks, tiny books, art volumes, and periodicals round out the collection. Rare and local history titles are included in the library catalog and may be requested and read in the Special Collections Reading Room by appointment.

Dias Photographic Collection

The Dias Photographic Collection contains more than 30,000 prints, slides and negatives of photographs taken by professional photographer Manuel Peixoto Dias, who worked for the Modesto Bee and the Stanislaus County Office of Education as an aerial photographer, and maintained his own private photography business in Modesto, California. The aerial photography component includes photographs that depict the agriculture, industry, irrigation, recreation, roadways, schools, and urban areas of the San Joaquin Valley.  The Portuguese culture component includes photographs that depict Portuguese culture in the Azores, Portugal, Madeira, California, and Hawaii, with a focus on farming, seafaring, bullfighting, and portraiture. 

Sayad Assyrian Collection

The Assyrian book collection of the Rev. Eshoo Paul Sayad of Turlock, acquired by the CSU Stanislaus library in 1970, includes many rare books about Assyrian religion and culture, from early beginnings in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia to modern times in Northwestern Iran. The collection consists of 231 books, including more than 100 books in Syriac, some English translations, as well as books in English and other languages. The collection is searchable in the University Library Catalog.

Stanislaus Region History and Culture Image Collection 

Over 260 digitized historical photographs, plus images of a Turlock commemorative scrapbook, that are fully searchable online, are available through the Stanislaus Region History and Culture Image Collection (link below). As part of the library's Special Collections, these works illustrate the history of Turlock, Stanislaus County, and the Central Valley region. This collection is accessible through either of the two following California archive portals: Calisphere (link below) or OAC - the Online Archive of California (link below).  These photographs are part of a larger collection of historic Turlock photos not included in the digital collection; please inquire to view these original photographic materials.

Nisaburo Aibara Collection

The Nisaburo Aibara Collection features materials from the Turlock Social Club, a local Japanese-American community group active between 1939 and 1970. It contains documents regarding the Stockton, Turlock and Merced Assembly Centers and Japanese American Citizens League chapters. The Collection also features correspondences with reactions, responses, and preparations for the 1942 mass evacuation. Additionally, the Collection has records on the Central California Cantaloupe Company, Turlock Farm Corporation, Turlock Japanese Society, and family records and funeral service programs of Japanese-American residents of Turlock.  Fifty-eight items from this collection were digitized and became part of the CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project.

Historic Newspaper Collection

This is a collection of print newspapers dating back to 1870's, including the very early Stanislaus County newspapers, Tuolumne City News and The Stanislaus County Weekly News, together with the several precursor titles of the modern-day Modesto Bee. The collection also includes an early print-run of the Sacramento Reporter, together with early newspaper-runs representing several Stanislaus County towns and villages, including Ceres, Hughson, and Denair. A full archive of The Turlock Journal, and its predecessor titles, is available on microfilm in the Periodicals stacks of the library. A collection of California newspaper specimens, including special supplements and extra issues round out the Historic Newspaper Collection. The condition the papers ranges from excellent to very fragile. 

Nisaburo Aibara Collection

Photograph of Nisaburo Aibara in 1968 as he receives the Ruby Medal of the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese government.

The Nisaburo Aibara Collection contains incorporation certificates issued by the Department of State of California for the Central California Cantaloupe Company in Turlock, a company formed and led by Aibara.

Stanislaus Region History & Culture Image Collection

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