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Archives and Collections
Library Special Collections is the largest of the special collections units administered by the university and encompasses the following divisions: Rare Books; Manuscripts, Prints, Photographs, and Maps; Oral History; and University Archives. It acquires, organizes, preserves, and provides access to rare and unique materials in the humanities and social sciences. The holdings include three hundred thousand rare books, forty-two thousand linear feet of manuscript and archival collections, and four million photographic negatives and prints. In addition, the department’s nineteenth- and twentieth-century collections contain a variety of artifacts, audio recordings, videos, printed ephemera, oral history transcripts, phonograph records, postcards, and posters. The department acquires principally materials relating to the arts; California; area studies; ethnic studies; the history of printing, including atlases and early Italian books; and literature, including children’s books. Some of the department’s areas of specialization are Hebraica and Judaica; the history of philosophy; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies; natural resources; photography; travel and exploration; and women. The more than twenty-four hundred collections in the Department of Special Collections are managed by the divisions of. Each division’s holdings are selected or created to complement those of the other divisions. Researchers are welcome to discuss holdings at greater length with the staff.