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Special Collections Research Center

Current Exhibition

Surveying Utopias: A Critical Exploration

This is both a physical exhibition and digital exhibition that interrogates the relations between literary and lived utopias, and between utopian visions and their frequently dystopian manifestations. It constellates a number of utopian aspirations to consider what we can learn from often revolutionary perspectives that also leave significant gaps in their thinking and expression. This work comes out of an extensive collaboration between the fall 2018 “Utopias: Literature, Technology, Archives” graduate seminar in the Department of English, taught by J. Ashley Foster, and the Special Collections team in the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno. Here, we contextualize the holdings of Special Collections, specifically the Topolobampo Collection, within the larger discourse of a global sampling of literary and lived utopias to interrogate questions of social justice, human rights, and the creation of a more sustainable, egalitarian international community of ethical citizens.

Curated by J. Ashley Foster with the students of the “Utopias: Literature, Technology, Archives”” graduate seminar in the Department of English: E. Makaela Bowen, Robert Breuer, Erin L. Chavez, Megan Evans, Angel Garduno, Michaella Gonzalez, Josiah D. Hillner, Leean Lewis-Ramirez, and Isabella Lo.

Exhibition design and installation by the Special Collections Research Center staff: Karina Cardenas and Adam Wallace.

About Us

The Special Collections Research Center is comprised of several specialized book collections, manuscript collections, and the University Archives. Anyone is welcome to use our collections, but all materials must be viewed in the Woodward Family Reading Room.

NOTE: A picture I.D. is required while you are doing research and photocopying is done by our staff.

Postcard view of Glacier Point, Yosemite, circa 1915. From the Woodward collection.

Local History Collection

We have a broad spectrum of materials which document the history of our region.

Black and white photograph of a dam waterway from collection.

Water-Related Collections

As water is critical to our region's past, present and future, our water-related collections form a very important subset of our local history manuscript collections.

Cover of Souvenir Views of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

World’s Fair Collection

We offer access to a very special collection of memorabilia for World"s Fairs.

Cover of the millionth volume added to the Henry Madden Library. From the Woodward collection.

Book Collections

We house several specialized book collections. Not everything in Special Collections is listed in the online system.

Photograph of President Arnold Joyal walking across the Fresno State campus, circa 1958.

University Archives

Many different types of magazines, newspapers, and materials showing the history of our campus.

Bernie Sisk with Jimmy Carter at Fresno airport press conference. From the B. F. Sisk Papers.

Political Collections

Manuscript collections documenting the political history of Central California, featuring the records of congresspeople, state legislators, a mayor and political organizations.

E. E. Roussel and A. Anvers Cognac label.

Enology Collection

Established in 1968, when materials were purchased from the personal collection of a well-known wine journalist, Roy Brady.

Photograph of Friant Dam under construction, circa 1940. From the Woodward collection.

Photographs and Slides

A lot of our photographs and slides are available online; while others must be seen physically.

Women in day dresses from the bustle period, 1884. From the Little-Bower fashion plate collection.

Other Collections

A large number of other unique and interesting collections exist within our library walls. We want you to explore them.

Contact Information

Henry Madden Library Building
5200 N. Barton Ave., M/S ML34
Fresno, CA 93740-8014
P: 559.278.2595
F: 559.278.8093

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The Center is open for research by appointment only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; only when the library building is open.

Research Center Staff

Tammy Lau
Head of Special Collections Research Center & University Archivist
Julie Moore
Catalog Librarian for Special Collections
Adam Wallace
Special Collections & Archives Specialist
Karina Cardenas
Special Collections & Archives Assistant