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Research Help

Special Collections is temporarily closed to the public, with an expected reopening date of January 2022.  This is due to a large construction project throughout HSU Library. But there is a lot of research you can complete from the comfort of your home. You can also contact the Special Collections team for additional research help. We are happy to set up Zoom research consultations.

While the library is under construction there is a temporary space for limited Special Collection research appointments. Please note that a large portion of our collection is inaccessible due to construction in storage locations on the third floor of the Library. Contact for more information about making appointments.

Special Collection Instruction

The Special Collections Librarian can work with your class or organization to design and faciliate specialized instruction related to primary source research, archival practices, and material specific to the HSU Special Collections & Archives. These sessions can be in person or virtual.  Please not that the Special Collections reading room is closed to the public in the Fall 2021 semester. 

HSU Faculty can request Special Collections Canvas modules to assist students with primary source assignments.  There is a also a Special Collections SkillShop available to students to introduce them to research in the archive. 

To schedule a class sessions, please contact Carly Marino at or fill out this form to request librarian assistance

Getting Started with Your Research

A first step of the research process is to search the Library Catalog.  Limit your search to "Special Collections" to see cataloged material related to northwestern California. Make a list of the call numbers for text you would like to review and Special Collections staff can help you retrieve this material during your visit to the Special Collections Reading Room. Material in Special Collections cannot circulate, but researchers are allowed to photograph most material for research purposes, with limited exceptions. 

Pamphlets and Newspapers

The Pamphlet Collection supplements the cataloged holdings of the Humboldt Room. It consists of brochures, flyers, newspaper clippings, email printouts, booklets, reports, serials, and other ephemera relating to Humboldt County and its immediate surroundings. The collection documents local issues, events, agencies, businesses, governmental bodies, organizations, communities, specific places, prominent individuals and aspects of the lives of area residents. It is organized by subject, including geographic regions, and organizations. There is also a legacy card file index in the Humboldt Room.

HSU Special Collecctions has an extensive local newspaper collection. There are several guides available to help the researcher find particular publications.  The Northwestern California Newspapers website examines the history of newspaper publishing in this region.