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Our collections are available for research to San Diego State University students, faculty, staff, and to the general public; no affiliation with San Diego State is required. Collections do not circulate outside of the department, and are consulted in our Reading Room (located on the 4th floor of the Library Addition in Room 4410). Our staff is happy to help you in identifying and requesting materials when you arrive; for specialized or in-depth reference assistance involving our collections, please contact us.

Before using the collections, we ask that you review the following guidelines.

General Guidelines

  • Food and beverages are not permitted in the Reading Room.
  • Please silence your cell phone or pager while visiting Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Coats, bags, purses, and other personal belongings are not allowed in the Reading Room. Please stow these items in the storage shelves at the front of the room.
  • Please use pencil only in the Reading Room. Pencils are provided at the Reference Desk. Please do not use post-it notes or other sticky notes.
  • All researchers must fill out a Researcher Registration Form in order to use the materials in Special Collections and University Archives.
  • Please respect other researchers by keeping your voice or iPod/music to a low level.
  • We will stop paging materials 15 minutes before the department closes for the day.

Requesting Materials

  • Special Collections and University Archives materials do not circulate outside the department.
  • To page materials, please see the Reference Desk attendant.
  • Only 4 boxes or books may be requested at a time.

Using Materials

  • Please handle all items with care. Please do not mark, fasten together, or alter materials in any way. When in doubt about proper handling, please consult Reading Room staff.
  • All materials must remain on the surface of the table. When appropriate, readers may be asked to place books and bound manuscripts on book rests or cradles, use weights to hold books open, or wear protective gloves.
  • If you have paged boxes from a manuscript collection, you may only have one box open at a time.  When removing a folder, use a box marker to hold its place. Please have only one folder out at a time, and when browsing through the folder, turn only one page at a time. When you have finished with the folder, return it to its correct spot in the box before pulling the next folder.
  • The exact arrangement of unbound materials (papers within folders, folders within boxes) must be maintained.
  • Please leave materials at your table when you are finished working, and inform staff that you are ready to depart.

Copying Materials

  • Use Duplication Tabs to mark documents you would like to copy. They are located on each table.
  • All materials that you wish to copy must be shown to staff for review and approval before you use the self-service BookEye scanner or take photographs. Please do not use a flash. Particularly fragile or damaged items will be copied for you by our staff. Some items may not allow for duplication.
  • Digital cameras are permitted in the Reading Room. All flashes must be turned off. Please silence your camera if possible. Materials must be flagged, reviewed, and approved as for other duplications before photography begins.

Contact Us

Special Collections & University Archives Contact

Location: SDSU Library & Information Access, Love Library Room 150
Phone: 619.594.6791

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