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University Library

Archival Research

Introduction to Special Collections

Special Collections & University Archives is home to Sonoma State University Library's rare books, archives, and manuscript collections. Special Collections is a vibrant, interactive place to conduct research, engage in classes using original sources, and view changing exhibitions.

Our rare book collection includes (but is not limited to) early printed books, or incunabula; books published in the 17th - 20th centuries on such subjects as history, art history, English and American literature, and philosophy; first and limited editions; and fine press publications. Book collections of note include the Lyman Celtic Collection and the Walt Phillips Small Press Collection. You can search for all of these books in OneSearch, the Library's online catalog, where you can limit any search by the location of Special Collections, and also by date. 

Our Special Collections of manuscripts and photographic material include materials documenting campus history, and manuscript and photographic material on the regional history of Sonoma County, on the author Jack London, and on the anti-Franco movement of the Spanish Civil War. We also own a number of regional environmental history collections and a congressional collection. Finding Aids (descriptions and inventories) of our manuscript collections are accessible via the Online Archive of California. 

A small but growing selection of our collection material has been digitized in our North Bay Digital Collections.

Special Collections are located off of the Quiet Study Room on the 3rd floor south of the Library, and require appointments to view. We welcome all students, faculty members, and outside researchers.

A Short Introduction to Our Dust Bowl Migration Archive

A Short Introduction to Our Jack London Collection and Ernest Hemingway Letters

Introduction to University Archives

Looking for information about the history of Sonoma State University, such as university and student publications, faculty papers, yearbooks, photographs, alumni publications and papers, architectural plans, memorabilia, and more? The Library's University Archives documents the history of Sonoma State, and houses all of this material in over 250 boxes of campus history. You can make appointments to view this material, and you can also browse some of the material in University Archives that has been digitized in our North Bay Digital Collections, including the Students Newspapers Digital Collection and the University Archives Digital Collection.

Introduction to the Regional Collection


This collection of open stacks books and maps focuses on the North Bay counties of Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma, the collection’s primary acquisitions area. The collection includes planning documents, environmental impact reports, regional histories & memoirs, and various government reports and documents, most from the 1950s to the present. The collection is located adjacent to our Special Collections area in the 3rd floor south of the Library.

You can search for all of these books and maps using OneSearch, the Library's online catalog, where you can limit any search by both the location of Regional Collections and the date.