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Visiting Special Collections

How to Access the Collections

The Library's Special Collections complement the resources of the general Library collections. They are acquired and maintained in support of the University's curriculum with emphasis on the natural resources, Native peoples, and primary industries of Northwestern California, including the history of Cal Poly Humboldt. Access to the collections is provided primarily through the Library's catalog and this webpage. Materials are available for use in the Special Collections section of the Humboldt Library by visiting scholars and the general public as well as Humboldt students, faculty and staff.


Cal Poly Humboldt University Library
3rd Floor, Room 303
Arcata, CA 95521
Telephone: 707-826-3419

Spring 2022 Hours

Community Research is by appointment only. Proof of vaccine and booster is required. Please contact to schedule an appointment. 

Starting February 1st, Drop in Hours for Students, Staff & Faculty are 1pm-4pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The campus community also welcome to make appointments.

Summer and Semester Breaks Special Collection by appointment only, please contact

* To ensure the safety of our patrons, we are currently recommending that researchers conduct research online or contact the Special Collections Librarians for research help. Please visit the campus website for more information about COVID-19 planning and safety measures. 


Materials are to be used in Special Collections. Duplicate copies of some books, including all Humboldt theses and many environmental documents, are located in the main collection. Check the Cal Poly Humboldt Library Catalog for additional copies. If there are multiple copies of a title in Special Collections, a staff member may grant a 3-week, non-renewable exception, depending on the condition and rarity of the item.


Materials may, at the discretion of the reference staff, be checked out of the Special Collections for photocopying. Prints of photographs and manuscripts may be obtained by filling out the Special Collections Duplication Application and discussing the request with a Special Collections staff member. Requests to digitize materials, including maps, are handled similarly. Generally requests to photograph materials, including using a digital camera, are granted. The permission process starts with filling out the application form. This insures that both copyright and condition considerations are addressed before the materials are duplicated.


Donations of books, manuscripts, photographs, or maps that complement our collection strengths are encouraged. Monetary donations to support the acquisition, processing, and display of materials are very welcome. See also Giving to the Library.


Reference service is available when the room is open, and by appointment. Finding aids supplement access provided by the Cal Poly Humboldt Library Catalog and the Special Collections webpages. Telephone, mail, and email queries are accepted. Instructional sessions may be scheduled by consulting a staff member or filling out the Instruction Request Form.

Special Collections Annual Reports

Carly Marino
Special Collections Librarian
voice: (707) 826-4955

Sarah Godlin
Archivist & Digital Publishing Specialist
voice: (707) 826-4072


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