Working with archives and special collections may lead to surprise, excitement, even confusion as new ideas and questions emerge in your mind. But you shouldn’t be confused by our Reading Room operations, so what follows is a brief guide to how to be a researcher in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room. As a member of our researcher community, each researcher agrees to follow these procedures.
The most important tip: Always remember that we are here to support your learning. Please ask us questions and tell us what you’re trying to do; we want to help you succeed.
If you haven’t already done so in advance, you will register as a researcher when you arrive for your first visit. Registering as a researcher includes sharing with us your name and, if possible, a way to contact you (like an email address).
We provide pencils and paper for taking notes. Feel free to bring and use your own computer or phone/camera for note taking or to take reference photos of most collections. We’ll always let you know if a collection cannot be photographed. (Also, we can sometimes provide digital scans of small amounts of material; ask us if you’re interested.)
We provide a safe and visible area within the reading room for you to set aside your food, drink, coats, bags, and other belongings while you work.
You cannot borrow and take home any Special Collections & Archives collections, but you can place them on hold for future visits. Talk with us before you leave for the day to let us know if we should keep your materials on hold.
Most of our materials are stored in McHenry Library and can be brought to the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room within 15 minutes or so. However, these materials do require advance notice:
All our researchers help preserve our collections for the future by handling materials gently to prevent accidental damage. Specific ways we ask for your help are:
We may provide additional handling instructions, depending on the materials you are using.
Last revised on September 10, 2021. Please send feedback for future revisions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Collections & Archives welcomes researchers to make use of personal cameras to augment their research process and gather information. It is the researcher’s responsibility to maintain thorough notes on the identity and location of materials they photograph. Researchers taking photographs must abide by the following terms regarding photography in the Reading Room:
UCSC Special Collections & Archives Collection Development Policy
Contact: Teresa Mora, Head of Special Collections & Archives 831-459-7725 | email@example.com
Last Updated: December 2019 T. Mora
Revision Cycle: 5 years
Next Revision: 2024
The University Library’s Special Collections & Archives houses collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, photographs, and other rare and unique materials. The material accepted for preservation and access must have significant research, documentary, or other value. These priorities build on existing collection strengths, balanced with a strong responsiveness to faculty and researcher needs. This Collection Development Policy will be re-evaluated regularly, at least every 5 years.
Lead: Teresa Mora
We selectively acquire artists' books that support instruction and research. The collection encompasses all aspects of the genre dating from the 1960s to the present from traditional published works to altered, sculptural, painted, and unique books that challenge the form of the codex. We are actively collecting: works created by local and California artists; works that engage contemporary American politics and social movements; works produced in Latin American countries or by Latina/o artists; and works complementing additional strategic collection areas, including but not limited to science and technology and photography.
Lead: Teresa Mora
The Fine Press collection consists of fine, private press, and limited edition books, as well as selected reference works about printers, publishers, and the book arts. UCSC has a strong tradition of contributing to the Fine Press community and holds an exhaustive collection of the works of Lime Kiln Press. The collection is particularly strong in works by California printers and publishers. We continue to actively collect the works of Cowell Press and local fine press printers as well as works that complement other collecting priorities.
Lead: Teresa Mora
The Counter Culture collections at UCSC center on the documentation of various counter culture and larger social movements as evidenced in the United States from the 1960s on. Highlights include the papers of pacifist Kenneth Patchen, the records of the band The Grateful Dead, the papers of feminist scholar Bettina Aptheker, the work of gonzo-journalist Hunter S. Thompson, and significant holdings within University Archives documenting the rise of the Environmental Movement. The continued development of this collection strength recognizes the key role that the UCSC community has played in the rise of once “fringe” social movements, including feminism, queer-rights, and environmentalism.
We selectively acquire materials for our Grateful Dead Archive, and are specifically interested in Grateful Dead posters and handbills from the 1960s and early 1970s. We do not accept fan tapes, tickets, clothing and newspaper clippings. Nor do we accept materials duplicating what is already held in the collection.
We continue to seek collections that document such significant social movements, especially in a local and regional context. We look for collections that actively build upon existing holdings to tell a larger story about late 20th century social movements and culture.
We occasionally collect zines and comics that engage with counter-cultural themes and the above mentioned strategic collection areas.
Lead: Teresa Mora
UCSC's collections document the history of Santa Cruz County from the mission period through the present, in over 2,000 books and pamphlets and more than 100 historical and contemporary archival and manuscript collections (measuring over 1,000 linear feet).
To develop our archival and monographic holdings, we are actively trying to document the following about Santa Cruz County:
● LGBTQ history: events, community leaders, organizations
● Political issues and leadership: selected Political papers exemplifying major legislation, major contributions to the growth and development of the region, shifts in demographics (such as education, social services), or materials directly related to other collection strengths (LGBT, environment); Political issues: materials documenting significant local political movements such as those related to land use; housing rights, environmentalism, and sustainable agriculture)
● Preservation of open space and environmental activism: preservation of land/water
● Agriculture: sustainable agriculture, farmland, water/irrigation, farming families
● Visual history of the landscape, cities, and communities in Santa Cruz County: people, places, society, "Arcadia books fodder"
● Under-documented ethnic communities including Chicano/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, and Filipino Americans.
We occasionally collect the following about Santa Cruz County:
● Early settlement (rancho period)
● Santa Cruz Mission
● Surfing history and culture
Historically, collection strengths have included the Santa Cruz Mission, pioneer families, politics, entrepreneurism, and surfing. Materials include photographs, family papers, letters, oral history interviews, maps, postcards, newspapers, government documents, and an enormous collection of local ephemera (such as flyers and brochures).
Lead: Teresa Mora
The photography collection comprises over half a million items and includes works by significant contemporary photographers working in both the documentary and fine art traditions. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1960s to the late twentieth century and has a particular focus on California photographers, especially those of the West Coast school and Group f/64. Significant collections include those of Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones, Edward Weston and Branson DeCou. Subject strengths include environmental photography, the geographic regions of California and Mexico, and the documentation of social change.
Additionally, Special Collections has strong holdings of local historic photographs—from aerial views of the Northern California Coastline to depictions of the city of Santa Cruz at the turn of the century and the contemporary photography of local photographic journalist Shmuel Thaler.
We actively collect work that supports additional collecting areas such as local history and social change.
Lead: Teresa Mora
The University Archives documents the history of UC Santa Cruz, by collecting inactive administrative records of enduring historical value (including those documenting the University's decision making process, programs, and the cultural history of the campus) and University publications that provide documentation of the University’s administrative history. In addition to printed and electronic materials and administrative records, University Archives includes holdings in other formats: pictorial, maps, audiovisual, and memorabilia. The formal collection dates from the planning stages of the University beginning in 1959.
Lead: Teresa Mora
Special Collections and Archives is home to the scholarly archives of some of the campus's most noteworthy present and former faculty members. These include philosopher Donna Haraway, feminist scholar Bettina Aptheker, National Medal of Science winner Sandra Faber, and historian Hayden White. Faculty collections generally include research files, grants, teaching material, drafts of publications, and conference papers, all of which provide valuable insights into scholarly, creative, and service contributions.
We are currently only collecting papers from faculty members who 1) have achieved international recognition in their field, 2) whose work is important to the history of California or the region, or 3) who played a major role in UCSC history.
The UC Archivists Council (UCAC) has also developed a policy on faculty papers here: https://libraries.universityofcalifornia.edu/content/uc-faculty-papers-identification-and-appraisal.
We do not collect the published works of UCSC faculty. The Library encourages UCSC authors to contribute their scholarly output to UC digital repositories (e.g., eScholarship).
Lead: Teresa Mora
Special Collections holds the literary archives of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, poets Kenneth Patchen and Morton Marcus, and author Colin Fletcher. We are not actively seeking more archival collections in this area; however, we will consider the archives of individuals whose work strongly aligns with other collecting priorities.
Lead: Teresa Mora
We maintain a representative collection of early European imprints, especially including a distinguished collection of 16th Century Italian imprints donated by Professors Hayden White and Margaret Brose. Other significant concentrations of early printed books include works in the history of astronomy, from the Library at Lick Observatory, a selection of illustrated botanicals, as well as a variety of literary works.
We continue to selectively collect texts that enhance our existing holdings selectively and with an eye towards instruction.
Lead: Teresa Mora
Special Collections selectively collects archives documenting the lives of practicing artists such as emeriti faculty Kay Metz; the papers of Miriam and Ray Rice; and the records of local book artists Foolscap Press with a focus on artists whose work aligns with other collecting priorities.
Lead: Teresa Mora
Special Collections holds the papers of avant garde composer Lou Harrison; the records of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; and the records of the Other Minds organization. We are particularly interested in growing our holdings in this area as they pertain to local history, augment existing holdings and support instruction.
The Trianon Press collection consists of the records of the Trianon Press including all works published by the press. In conjunction with the William Blake Trust, the press undertook the formidable project of publishing the illuminated works of William Blake and in acquiring the records of the press Special Collections acquired a significant representation of Blake material.
The Benjamin Franklin V and Jo Taft Franklin literature collection contains over 600 titles by and about Anais Nin, collected by her bibliographer, Benjamin Franklin V.
The Thomas Carlyle collection consists of hundreds of volumes of Carlyle’s published works, and numerous works of criticism and biography as well as a small collection of correspondence and manuscripts. The collection also includes volumes from Carlyle’s personal library.
The Charles Dickens collection consists of first editions of most of Dickens’ novels, including works “in parts” as well as works about Dickens.
We only accept archival materials that reflect our existing topical collecting strengths. Exceptions are rarely made and are predominantly based on teaching and exhibition potential.
Archival materials require a great deal of labor and expertise to organize, preserve, and describe. Every new archival collection requires an assessment of the resource impact of accepting the material for long-term stewardship (storage, processing, digitization, access). Grants or philanthropic gifts may be accepted to support the arrangement, description and ongoing maintenance of materials.
● Significant correspondence (including email) documenting important activities, programs, decisions, events, or relationships
● Meeting minutes and reports
● Publications created by the organization or the individual whose archive we are accepting, including websites, newsletters, handbooks, program announcements, directories, catalogs, brochures, posters, and press releases
● Policy and procedure documents, or those records that document decision-making processes
● Annual reports
● Original photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, maps, and architectural drawings
● Records documenting the development of programs or special projects
Note: We accept documentation in all formats, including paper, digital, and other media. However, we may not be able to preserve or provide access to all formats in the future.
● Exact duplicate copies of anything
● Routine correspondence, e.g., requests and acknowledgments
● Records of routine matters, e.g., requests for leave, receipts
● Most business or financial records
● Reference files or research material, including news clippings, publications, and form letters
● Rough drafts of publications, articles or reports (except for literary and academic collections)
● Confidential material or items that must be restricted for a significant period of time
● Blank forms, letterhead, or other stationery
● Awards, plaques, framed material
● Widely held published material, including books, journals, and media
We acquire books or serials that pertain to our collecting strengths, particularly items that will be heavily used by UCSC faculty and students and for instruction. Items must either have a research or instruction value in order to be considered. We do not accept books or serials simply because they are scarce, fragile or unusual or to be comprehensive in our collection. We also do not accept books or serials with significant preservation problems (e.g., mold, unplayable formats, broken covers or spines, etc.).
UCSC Special Collections & Archives supports research, teaching, scholarship, publication, and artistic production involving the use of materials from our collections. We welcome you to use materials in our collections that are in the public domain  and to make fair use  of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law .
All reproduction requests are subject to review. Material may be reproduced when, in the judgment of Special Collections staff, it supports the research, teaching and learning mission of the University of California, but:
Will not duplicate an inordinate portion of the material
Is not prevented by U.S. copyright law
Does not infringe on restrictions imposed by the donor of the material
All reproduction requests must be submitted through the UCSC Special Collections Request System  via the Reproduction Order/Request Form. This request form constitutes an agreement that you will not reproduce, transfer, distribute, broadcast, publicly display, offer for sale, or otherwise use or publish any material subject to copyright, or a portion thereof, in excess of fair use , as defined by copyright law , without the express permission  of the copyright holder.
Use, Copyright, and Attribution
WARNING CONCERNING COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of fair use, that user may be liable for copyright infringement.
Many of the materials held by UCSC Special Collections & Archives may be protected by United States Copyright Law and/or by the copyright laws of other countries. Copyright law protects unpublished as well as published materials. While UCSC Special Collections & Archives owns the materials in our collections, we typically do not own the copyright to these materials, except where it has been explicitly transferred to the UC Regents, or when the material was created by the university.
UCSC Special Collections & Archives cannot grant or deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material whose copyright it does not hold or material deemed to be in the public domain. Provision of copies of materials in UCSC Special Collections & Archives does not imply permission to utilize materials in excess of fair use. The researcher is solely responsible for determining the copyright status of materials and, if necessary, obtaining permission to use material from the copyright holder. Written permission from the copyright holder is required for publication, distribution, or other use of copyrighted items beyond that allowed by fair use.
UCSC Special Collections & Archives cannot facilitate requests for permission on behalf of the researcher, and is unable to conduct copyright searches or counsel users in the application of copyright law. Upon request, we may provide available rights contact information, subject to the privacy needs of our donors. UCSC Special Collections & Archives does not warranty the accuracy of such information and shall not be responsible for any inaccurate information.
Digital Scanning for Research or Publication
Requests for digital scans must be made through the UCSC Special Collections Request System. Orders can take from one to three weeks to be processed. We do not perform rush orders.
Digital scans for publication are made as high resolution TIFF files according to the Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials: Creation of Raster Image Master Files from the Federal Agencies Digitization Initiative (FADGI) Still Image Working Group. Files are delivered via the UCSC Special Collections Request System. Please consult our fee schedule for information about reproduction and permission costs. All orders must be paid in advance. Reproduction work begins after payment.
Special Collections & Archives welcomes researchers to make use of personal cameras to augment their research process and gather information. Reader registration and use of the UCSC Special Collections Request System constitutes an agreement to abide by the terms of our Access and Camera Use Policies.
Some materials may not be photographed due to restrictions in donor agreements or interlibrary loan rules, or may require written permission from the copyright holder before photographing; learn more about restricted collections here and ask Staff for assistance.
Personal cameras and camera phones, silenced and with flash disabled, are permitted. No scanners, laptop cameras, video cameras, flash, lights, extension cords, audio recorders, or stools are allowed. Permission to photograph does not constitute permission to publish.
We are unable to accommodate on-site photocopy requests. There is no self service copying in Special Collections; photocopying of materials is done in-house by Special Collections staff as time and condition of the materials permit. Photocopying is performed at the discretion of Special Collections staff. Photocopies are made solely for the personal use of the individual researcher. Permission to photocopy does not constitute permission to publish.
All reproduced and published items (in print or electronic format) must be credited as follows:
If copyright is held by the Regents of the University of California:
© Regents of the University of California. Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz. [collection name]
If copyright is held by another organization or individual:
Courtesy Special Collections, University Library, University of California Santa Cruz. [collection name]
You must not use the name of Special Collections & Archives, the UCSC University Library, or UCSC in any manner which creates any false association between you and the image, materials, Special Collections, the Library, and/or UCSC, or that incorrectly implies any sponsorship or endorsement by Special Collections, the Library, UCSC, or any third party rights holder.
Special Collections & Archives may request a complimentary copy of any publication or reproduction using Special Collections materials.
If you are the copyright owner and believe our website has not properly attributed your work to you or has used it without permission, we want to hear from you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and a link to the relevant content.
In receiving a reproduction from our holdings, you assume all responsibility for infringement of copyright or other rights in your use of the material, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless UCSC Special Collections & Archives and the UCSC University Library, its agents and employees against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of these reproductions.
Manuscript collections that include twentieth and twenty-first century archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal, state, and/or global "right to privacy" laws, including but not limited to certain educational, medical, financial, criminal, attorney-client, and personnel records (Social Security numbers, bank account and credit card numbers, employment and medical records, etc.) Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to individuals without the consent of those individuals may give rise to legal claims and liability, for example, publication of defamatory content concerning an individual's private life, or publication of confidential and sensitive personally-identifiable information about an individual (such as social security number or health information).
UCSC Special Collections & Archives staff have taken care to identify and, in some cases, remove Personally Identifiable Information found within archival collections when undertaking archival processing work. However, privacy protected information may be revealed during use of the archival collections, particularly in those collections that are unprocessed or have been minimally processed. Researchers who find sensitive personal information in any collection should immediately notify a UCSC Special Collections & Archives staff member.
You agree to make no notes or other record of privacy protected information if found within the archival collections, and further agree not to publish, publicize, or disclose such information to any other party for any purpose if found within the archival collections. In accessing collections in our repository, you assume all responsibility for infringement of right to privacy in your use of the material, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless UCSC Library Special Collections & Archives, its agents and employees against all claims, demands, costs, and expenses arising out of use of archival collections held by UCSC Special Collections & Archives.
In line with the UC Santa Cruz University Library’s Mission, Vision, and Values, and guided by the UCSC Principles of Community, Special Collections & Archives seeks to describe archival materials in a manner that respects those who create, are represented in, and interact with the collections we steward. However, we acknowledge that Library staff manage archival description that may contain language that is racist, colonialist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise harmful. Archival description appears in collection guides (also known as finding aids), library catalog records, and digital object metadata. In creating archival description, Library staff both create description and repurpose existing description produced by creators or prior stewards. For example, it is standard practice to reuse original folder titles in order to make materials available for research more efficiently. Whatever their source, these descriptions reflect the language, values, and historical contexts of the people and organizations that created, collected, or described the material. Archival description also features controlled vocabularies such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, some of which are outdated and harmful. Library staff do not have direct control over these vocabularies, but we do aim to utilize them in alignment with our values and make local adjustments where possible.
When we encounter harmful language created by Library staff, we are committed to reviewing and updating it to acknowledge and repair harm, and documenting such updates. However, original description that comes from the archival material itself can provide important context about its creators, custodial history, and/or source, even when the language can cause harm. In such cases, we are committed to providing additional context where possible.
Library staff are currently implementing practices to address harmful language as part of both retrospective and ongoing description work. We acknowledge that language evolves over time and that efforts to create respectful and inclusive description must be ongoing and iterative. As such, we welcome your feedback and questions at email@example.com.
This statement was adapted from the Princeton University Library Statement on Language in Archival Description and the Yale University Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.
The land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.
The land acknowledgement used at UC Santa Cruz was developed in partnership with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman and the Amah Mutsun Relearning Program at the UCSC Arboretum.