Historic Collections

The Historic Collections at the J. Paul Leonard Library houses a variety of materials that support University curriculum for over a century; these materials have been deemed by subject selectors to need special housing and because they are unique, valuable, rare, or holding special cultural value.

To find items from Historic Collections using OneSearch, use Refine my Results to select Special Collections in the Library facet.


By appointment: eliassen@sfsu.edu



University Archivist: Meredith Eliassen
(415) 405-4073


University Archives & Historic Collections
J. Paul Leonard Library
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132

About this Collection

An eclectic array of materials that includes rare books dating back to 1551, scribed and printed leaves dating back to the 1450s, Gentleman’s Magazine and other rare periodical and historic government documents, manuscripts, artist books and small press books, original artwork by students participating in an NYA work-study program, along with two historic children’s book collections. We also have a selection of publications by faculty and alumni authors, though we do not collect these works comprehensively. 

Woman Drawing
sample document
Small Press Collection
Illustration silk