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Rare Books Collection

The Cal Poly Humboldt Library maintains a number of rare books as part of its Special Collections department. These items were acquired through the generosity of donors for the purpose of advancing research and scholarship at Cal Poly Humboldt. Titles of rare books can be found by using the Cal Poly Humboldt Library catalog, which will direct the patron to the location of the book on the third floor of the Cal Poly Humboldt Library.

Prior to being granted access to items in the rare book collection, researchers will agree to the following rules and guidelines:

  • Access to rare books is granted by visiting Special Collections during the reading room’s open hours.
  • An overview of handling rare books will be administered prior to access
  • All rare book items are to be treated with care and respect
  • No food or drink are to be present in the vicinity of those handling rare book materials
  • Taking photos and copying pages shall be left to the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian
  • Due to condition and other factors, some items may have limited or restricted access
  • Rare books are to be returned to the Special Collections Librarian immediately following the conclusion of use
  • Researchers may be asked to submit for inspection backpacks, briefcases, notebook or other personal items prior to leaving the premises
  • At no time can rare books be checked out from the library

The Cal Poly Humboldt Library promotes access to materials for all library patrons, whether they are affiliated with the university or with an outside group. Given the value, rarity and uniqueness of rare books, the Cal Poly Humboldt Library prioritizes access to those conducting academic and professional research.

In spring 2017, Library Scholar Interns Ryan Echeverri, Francisco Lopez and Steven Munoz created a digital exhibit and database highlighting some rare books in the collection. Please visit the site to see their work and a sampling of rare books in the collection.

Some rare books are digitized by students assistants and interns, and are included in the The Press at Cal Poly Humboldt reprint series. Please visit the Press at Cal Poly Humboldt to view titles like the The Pinetum Britannicum (1884) and the History of Humboldt County, California (1881).