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Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives is the home of CSUN's rare book and periodical collections, as well as its archival and manuscript collections. Archival and manuscript collections can consist of many different kinds of materials, including correspondence, diaries, maps, university records, organizational records, photographs, and audio or video recordings.

In Special Collections & Archives users can perform research, engage in classes using primary sources, or view exhibitions. Our collections are made available to researchers in a supervised reading room. We welcome users, and ask for understanding concerning our special procedures, which are designed to ensure these collections are available in the future.

Take a Peek in the Stacks

collection highlights

Detail of the marbled endpapers from The Castle of Otranto, PR3757.W2 C3 1786

The Castle of Otranto, published on Christmas Eve 1764, launched the Gothic novel genre. Horace Walpole initially issued the work under a pseudonym and claimed it was a translation of a found Italian medieval tale. However, after the novel was well received, Walpole revealed that he was the true author in the second edition published in 1765.

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Detail of cover illustration from Weird Tales Volume 29, Number 1, "Children of the Bat"

The cover of Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Satan’s Palimpsest  greets the reader with a nude blonde, seemingly excited to invite the bat-like Satan into her boudoir. Similarly, Margaret Brundage’s Weird Tales: Children of the Bat cover greets the reader with another nude blonde—this one half-bat with breasts and chained by another bat, who seems to be half-human as well. Through the covers' portrayal of hyper-sexualized, imprisoned women and bats as their captors, the Weird Tales pulp art combines both the scariness and seduction of the Gothic monster, which represents the Other in U.S. culture. 

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