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Library History

Since its earliest days as Humboldt Normal School, Cal Poly Humboldt has had a library. The original building at 11th and M, leased from the Arcata Grammar School, housed a library, as did the temporary buildings constructed on the site of the first permanent campus building. Completed in 1922 and known as the Main Building or Administration Building until it was named Founders Hall in 1959, the latter included a library in today's Green and Gold Room. As the collection grew, the Library expanded into other areas of the building, until, in 1952, the first dedicated library building, now Van Matre Hall, was completed. The Library quickly outgrew that facility as well, and in 1962 the new Library, consisting of the north wing of the present building, was completed. The south wing was added in 1977.

Image of the library in Founders Hall 

Library in Founders Hall (The Green and Gold Room)


Image of the library in Van Matre

Library in Van Matre Hall


Image of the HSU Library in 1962

Library, September 12, 1962


Image of the HSU Library in 2011

Library in 2011

Today, the Cal Poly Humboldt Library has a staff of 34 plus student assistants and a collection of more than 562,000 books, 600,000 microforms, 25,000 audio-visual and non-print items, and over 1,000 print periodical and newspaper subscriptions. The Library also is home to the Humboldt County and University Archives collections and is the only active U.S. Government Depository between Ashland, Oregon and Santa Rosa, California. Augmenting its own collections, the Library provides access to resources throughout the world via online databases, including indexes and the catalogs of other libraries; full-text journals and e-books; and the Internet.

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