Archives & Special Collections

Archives & Special Collections is dedicated to the collection and preservation of permanently valuable records in order to support the curricular and research needs of CSUMB students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

Contact Information

Search the Collections

Search or browse finding aids for archival material in the CSUMB Archives & Special Collections database.

Finding aids for processed archival and manuscript collections are also available on DigitalCommons@CSUMB.

Finding aids contain a description and summary of the collection including the scope of its subject matter, relevant people or organizations associated with the material, and dates covered. Finding aids also include a list of the contents that tells users how the collection is structured and where to find particular materials in it.

Please note that not all of our collections have been processed, and we are continually creating new finding aids.

Digitized Collection Materials

A selection of materials from Archives & Special Collections are available on DigitalCommons@CSUMB, including:

Requesting a Research Appointment

Archives & Special Collections materials are available for research by appointment only. Always contact the Archives & Special Collections staff in advance of your visit to make an appointment and to indicate the materials you would like to research. For the quickest service, we recommend that you contact us by email at to schedule your appointment.

Research appointments can be scheduled during the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The department is closed on weekends. Many of our collections are still being processed, but may be available for research on a case-by-case basis.

Instructional Sessions & Class Visits

Archives & Special Collections welcomes the opportunity to provide hands-on opportunities for students to work with historical documents and primary sources. Faculty are invited to contact Archives & Special Collections staff at to learn about the scope of our collections, including those materials that are not fully processed, and to collaborate on learning experiences for students using archival materials to meet specific course objectives.

E-mail Reference

Archives & Special Collections accepts reference questions via e-mail at Response time for e-mail reference will depend on the type of inquiry and the time available for staff to provide the best researched response.

Donating or Transferring Materials

Personal Papers or Organizational Records

Please contact Archives & Special Collections at before donating any material. Archives & Special Collections staff will work with you to determine the historical significance of your material and advise you which repository would be best for your records.

Although we may not accept everything that is offered (whether because of staff and space constraints or because the materials are not within our collecting scope), we welcome the chance to review materials; if it is not appropriate for our institution, there may be another one to which it could be referred.

University Records

Archives & Special Collections acquires, preserves, and makes available select historical records of California State University, Monterey Bay that document the establishment, development, history and traditions of CSUMB and its administration, faculty, staff, colleges, departments, students, and alumni.

Please contact for more information regarding transferring university publications to the archives or donating unpublished materials such as correspondence, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks or research files documenting the history of CSUMB.

Collection Development Policy

Purpose & Scope

The Archives & Special Collections of California State University, Monterey Bay is dedicated to the collection and preservation of permanently valuable records in order to support the curricular and research needs of the faculty and students of CSUMB, while simultaneously serving as a higher educational resource by providing unique learning opportunities for students, scholars, and the general public. Archives & Special Collections also serves as a repository for select records of the University of permanent historical value.

Subjects Collected

Archives & Special Collections seeks to collect in subject areas receiving substantial and sustained attention within the University community, those representing ongoing departmental research interests, or those areas that are the focus of interdisciplinary programs. Coordination of material selection will be done by the Archives Specialist in consultation with librarian subject selectors when appropriate. Priority subject areas include:

  • History of CSUMB, such as:
    • The founding and transition from Fort Ord to CSUMB
    • Significant events in the University’s development
    • Student, staff, and faculty life
  • History of Fort Ord, specifically records documenting:
    • Underrepresented populations
    • The impact on local communities
  • Histories of local communities, particularly Salinas, Seaside, Marina, and Monterey, focusing on:
    • Social conditions and stories of underserved communities
    • Records documenting the relationship between CSUMB and local communities

In addition, Archives & Special Collections collects selected official University records of permanent historical value. Types of CSUMB materials collected include primarily print, but also digital versions of the following:

  • Accreditation documentation
  • Charters, policies, procedures, and other guiding documents
  • Academic Senate records
  • Minutes (committees, departments, schools, or other administrative groups)
  • University publications (newsletters, newspapers, magazines, brochures, yearbooks, etc.)
  • Institutional surveys and reports (annual, self-study, etc.)
  • Significant records of student organizations and activities
  • Selected records of academic programs and courses or instruction
  • Selected division and department administrative records

Current collecting of University records is on a case by case basis and is projected to remain limited, selective and focused in the areas noted above. Collections size will be limited by adherence to collection parameters and by the amount of physical space available to house and protect the collections appropriately.

Geographic Area

Collecting will adhere to the following geographic criteria, in rank order:

  1. Within the immediate tri-county region (Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito)
  2. Within the state of California
  3. Within the United States


Archives & Special Collections collects materials in a variety of formats including, but not limited to: books, pamphlets, posters, diaries, letters, maps, scrapbooks, journals, posters, newspapers, yearbooks, manuscripts, ephemeral materials, film, video, paper documents, photographs, slides, film, sound recordings, and digital records.

Archives & Special Collections has very limited facilities and staff support for preserving non paper‐based materials and attempts to sample artifacts and memorabilia rather than to collect them comprehensively. Medium to large three dimensional objects may be accepted on a case by case basis to ensure they can be cared for properly.

Physical Condition of Acquisitions

Archives & Special Collections has limited preservation resources, and therefore will acquire materials in the best possible physical condition. Exceptions may be made in instances where the scarcity of an item in any condition warrants accepting a less-than-perfect specimen. In general, the costs involved in repairing and storing damaged materials are beyond the limited means of our budget, so we may decline imperfect copies.

Duplicate copies

Archives & Special Collections cannot accept duplicate copies of items already held in the collection. Exceptions may be made in instances where a second copy has unique features, but the general rule is against adding redundant copies of published works.

Deed of Gift

Donations will be accepted provided that (a) there is a signed Deed of Gift form that legally transfers ownership of the materials to the CSUMB Library, and (b) the donor does not require excessive restrictions on use of materials. Collections without a deed of gift transferring legal title will not be accepted. No donation will be accepted that is not open for public access immediately or upon some specific future date.

Removal of Items

Duplicates and materials that do not reflect collecting areas or do not possess sufficient archival value may be deaccessioned, subject to the documented terms of acquisition, University regulations, and State and Federal laws.

The following factors are considered when considering de-accession of an item or collection:

  • The item or collection is no longer in use.
  • The item or collection can no longer be properly stored or preserved.
  • The item or collection is in poor physical condition.
  • The item or collection is duplicated elsewhere in Archives & Special Collections.
  • The item or collection is too costly to store, display, or maintain.
  • The item or collection no longer fits with the Archives & Special Collections policy.

Other Local Collections and Resources

Archives & Special Collections is complemented by nearby collections of rare materials and primary sources. Included among these other collections are those of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, The Fort Ord Alumni Association, and other local organizations.

Archives & Special Collections will maintain an awareness of the existing strengths of these other institutions and develop collections in such a way that they do not substantively duplicate holdings of nearby institutions or enter into direct competition with them for collections and resources.