In addition to providing access to our unique Special and Digital Collections, the Special Collections department at Sonoma State University supports initiatives developed with other library departments, the larger Sonoma State University campus, and related entities on and beyond our campus. These special projects focus on sharing resources in new and unique ways. The most current projects are highlighted here.
In 1942, when President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 ordering Japanese American citizens to report to incarceration facilities, close to 800 Sonoma County citizens were imprisoned behind barbed wire for the duration of the war. This ugly but important piece of American history is part of the Library’s archival Special Collections in a unique, now seven-year partnership with the Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the campus’ Anthropological Studies Center (ASC).
Sonoma State’s University Archives preserves representative examples of material about campus history since Sonoma State University’s founding in 1961. These records document the history, growth, and development of the University and support campus memory. However, archival practices have historically erased, marginalized, and ignored the records and stories of much of SSU’s diverse student body.
To ensure greater representation and help document a more comprehensive Sonoma State history, we encourage all student submissions, including those from underrepresented student groups such as ethnic minority, LGBTQI+, veteran, first-generation, economically disadvantaged, undocumented, and international students. Our hope is that student participation in University Archives will grow and expand to fully reflect the student energy and diverse communities we are so proud of here at Sonoma State University.
This digital snapshot of Sonoma County’s rich history originates from materials found in Sonoma State University’s Gaye LeBaron Collection as well as supplemental materials from additional historical collections. These stories of individuals and communities that have shaped Sonoma County history have been shared for decades through the columns of Santa Rosa (California) Press Democrat journalist Gaye LeBaron and reflect the range and diversity of individuals and their experiences in our communities.