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Special Collections Research Center

Ethnic Studies students in the classroom with professor.

Online Exhibitions

Please enjoy these exhibitions:



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 Fresno State 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.

Featured Item

Formerly titled “The Queens’ Vernacular,” this book is almost like a proto-Urban dictionary, and provides lists of words and definitions used within the Gay community in the 20th Century (it was published in the early 70’s). It doesn’t shy away from the graphic, recording hundreds of vivid synonyms for different body parts. The tone of example sentences and of the book overall tends to the entertaining and irreverent, but it also doesn’t shy away from homophobic terms. This lexicographical look at LGBT culture is both fascinating, and applicable to modern linguistic trends, as many slang terms from the LGBT community (as well as others) gain popularity and usage through internet trends and dissemination. Documenting the history of minority language is an important work, and one which this book does in a way that’s never boring. My favorite definition: “missiletoes – attractive astronauts”.

—Caitlin Brady, English Studies Spring 2023

Contact Information

Fresno State Library
5200 N. Barton Ave., M/S UL34
Fresno, CA 93740-8014
P: 559.278.2595
F: 559.278.8093

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Research Center Staff

Tammy Lau
Head of Special Collections Research Center & University Archivist
Julie Moore
Catalog Librarian for Special Collections
Adam Wallace
Lead Special Collections & Digital Archives Specialist
Madeline McKeever
Special Collections and Archives Assistant
Caitlin Brady
Student Assistant - B.A. English Studies, 2023
Ben Nehring
Student Assistant - M.A. History, 2024
Sara Pineda
Student Assistant - B.A. English Studies, 2024