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Special Collections & Archives at UCSC

selecting and requesting materials, hiring a locally based researcher

On this page you'll find:


Just getting started? About Our Collections will introduce you to the scope of our holdings.

Want a reproduction for reference or publication? Reproduction & Publication will tell you how. 

Finding Our Collections

Cruzcat Catalog

Search Cruzcat to find a collection, archive, or book: 

  • Select the location McHenry Spec Coll to limit your search to only Special Collections & Archives
  • Each Cruzcat record will include the call number and a summary of the collection 
  • Cruzcat records will also include links to finding aids for manuscripts/archives when available

Online Archive of CaliforniaSearch the Online Archive of California for detailed information on collections:  

  • Offers easy searching and reading of finding aids to many of our collections
  • Finding aids can include biographical and contextual information as well as inventories of collections (note: finding aids are not available for all collections)


UC Santa Cruz Library Digital CollectionsBrowse UCSC's Digital Collections to find digitized collections:  

  • Enables broad access to digital collections of photographs, maps, artwork, oral history transcripts, campus publications, sound recordings and more
  • Search across all digital materials, or narrow your search using the search options provided

Requesting Our Collections

Please read our Access Policy for guidelines to accessing Special Collections & Archives materials.

Please place all requests to access or reproduce Special Collections & Archives materials through the UCSC Special Collections Request System. With this system you can:

  • Submit requests for books, journals/newspapers, manuscript and archives materials via:
  • Submit requests in advance of a visit to the library, or while at the library. Please note: Map requests must be submitted at least 2 buisness days in advance.
  • Submit requests for scans or photocopies of special collections materials
  • Track the status of requests, and access detailed information about past requests

IMPORTANT information on requesting materials stored OFFSITE

All items with the assigned location Spec Coll NRLF in CruzCat are stored at the Northern Regional Library Fascility (NRLF) and may require advance notice of a week or more in order to arrange access. Special Collections items are only shipped from NRLF once per week, on Thursday afternoons. Your request must be received by 3pm on Tuesday for delivery that same week. Here's how to order these materials:

  • Request Spec Coll NRLF materials via our Special Collections Request System (the same way you'd order other Spec Coll materials)
  • Please wait for a confirmation email from us to tell you that your requests have arrived before coming to the library
  • Need more than five items from Spec Coll NRLF? Planning a dedicated research trip to visit UCSC to consult items from Spec Coll NRLF? Please contact us at or phone 831-459-2547 and we'll help


Interested in hiring an independent local researcher?

If you are unable to come to UCSC Special Collections & Archives personally to examine materials, consider hiring a local researcher. Please contact us at to request a current list of independent researchers who are available for hire.


If you prefer to hire a UCSC student to assist you with your research, you may post a job through UCSC's student job site, SlugQuest.