Special Collections & Archives

Library 460 | (415) 405-5549 | Staff & Librarian directory

Please note: The Special Collections & Archives Reading Room is closed until further notice. Staff and faculty remain actively engaged during this period to provide support for remote research and instruction. You are welcome to submit questions or requests via email to specialcollections@sfsu.edu.  Please allow up to five days to respond to your email.  Thank you for your patience.

The J. Paul Leonard Library's Special Collections & Archives contain a wealth of primary source material on a wide variety of topics. The collections include manuscripts, organizational records, personal papers, photographs, rare books, periodicals, audio-visual media, artwork, artifacts and ephemera. These collections support academic and personal scholarship on campus, in the wider community, and internationally.  Adjacent to the Reading Room of Special Collections & Archives is the Special Collections Gallery.


The faculty of Special Collections also offer instruction.  Utilizing primary source materials, Library faculty can create course-specific asignments and lead customized classes to support primary source literacy.  Faculty can request instruction through our Primary Source Instruction Request form.



News, Exhibits & Events

Item Collection Description
AC Transit Strike img Labor Archives and Research Center 35th Anniversary Program LARC

This Virtual Program is Free and Open to Public.

February 26th | 6:00pm - 7:15pm

Black Lives Matter Wikipedia img Black Lives Matter Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: February 26, 3:00-4:30 pm PST Special Collections
In celebration of Black History Month, the Digital Scholarship Center invites you to join us for a Black Lives Matter Wikipedia edit-a-thon on February 26 from 3:00-4:30 pm PST.
rail wrokers img Labor Archives and Research Center Annual Program LARC

Gordon Chang will discuss the Chinese workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad. Musical performance by Francis Wong.

5B: AIDS Ward img 5B: AIDS Ward Film Screening LARC

Inspirational story of the nurses in the first HIV/AIDS ward unit in the United States at San Francisco General Hospital.

Beer Brewers img San Francisco Archives Crawl 2019 Special Collections, LARC

Join San Francisco archival repositories for San Francisco’s third Archives Crawl in celebration of American Archives Month in October.