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Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives in the Oviatt Library 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

Artist John Banks works on his sculpture

On the corner of Nordhoff Street and Zelzah Avenue is one of CSUN’s most recognized landmarks, the CSUN 'Spaghetti Letters' sign. After two years of planning, five months of construction, and $12,000, the sculpture designed and built by graduate student John T. Banks stood complete. The impetus for the sign was the official enaming of the campus from San Fernando Valley State College ...

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Tintype photograph of Union solder with flag

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, John M. Sell enlisted in the 83rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteers on July 29, 1861. He was commissioned First Lieutenant on August 27 of that year, and promoted to Captain on September 4, 1862. After fighting in numerous battles over two years, Sell was shot in the left leg on July 2, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. In one of the most commonly-performed medical procedures of the war, a ...

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