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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

Academic Year Hours

Special Collections is open to the public. Drop-in hours are:

Monday 1pm - 4pm

Tuesday 1pm - 4pm

Wednesday 1pm - 4pm

Thursday 1pm - 7pm

Friday 1pm - 4pm

If drop-in hours do not work for your schedule, please contact Special Collections at  to make an appointment. Appointments are only available during weekday business hours. Summer and semester breaks Special Collections is open by appointment only.


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 filling out the Instruction Request Form or emailing Carly at

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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