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Using Special Collections

Image of a photot of a man on the left.  The ride side is text.  $500 Reward.  Escaped from Sonoma County Jail on night of May 1, 1892.  George  H. W. Bruggy.

Primary source materials from Special Collections greatly enrich academic research projects with thought-provoking content and offer opportunities to interpret history in a new light. Items include manuscripts, diaries, letters, photographs, newspapers, books and digital exhibits.

Finding Special Collections

Image of two men looking at a map.

You can find information about Special Collections in the OneSearch. Locations shown as Special Collections, Gaye LeBaron Room, Waring Jones Room, or Regional Archives indicate an appointment is needed. Regional Coll items are on the open shelves. To view many special items online, visit North Bay Digital Collections. For an A-Z list of all collections, visit Our Collections.

Before your appointment:

  • Describe your specific research goal and time frame
  • Supply both your email address and phone number when you make an appoinment

At your appointment:

  • Bring your SSU ID or other form of identification
  • Visit for up to one hour

Using Special Collections to Enrich a Research Project

Black and white image of a woman ironing.
Image of a woman with a colorful red plaid wrap on her head.
Image of several people standing in front of a construction sign.  The sign reads Site of Sonoma State College S.B. 43 Cotati, Calif.
Image of a wooden fence on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
Image of an asian woman wearing a elaborate cloak with a fur collar.


  • Rare Book Collection: global coverage emphasizing art, literature, and history. 
  • North Bay Regional Collection: Books, maps, documents, letters, and photographs.
  • Gaye LeBaron Collection: Over 800 topics relating to the history of the North Bay Region

Social Sciences

Science & Technology

Arts and Humanities


Business & Economics

  • Ask about our wine industry materials in numerous collections

Other Collections

Collections across the state of California and beyond hold significant primary resources. Many require a personal visit for access but a growing number of collections are easily accessed online.

Online Archive of California
Free public access to descriptions of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California. It is an initiative of the California Digital Library.

Free gateway to more than 200,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newsprint, works of art, diaries, oral histories, ephemera, and artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California. Content is selected from the libraries and museums of the University of California and other institutions.

Directory of Special Collections in the CSU
Free public directory to known, and less known, special collections found within the California State University Library System. Topics range widely and support scholarly research.

American Memory Project
Free access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.