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Comic Arts

Information for Non-SDSU Visitors

We’re often asked if non-SDSU visitors can use the Comic Arts Collection. Absolutely! Here are some details to help guide your visit:

The SDSU Library is open to the general public and we welcome your visit! The Comic Arts Collection is not located in one browsable location. See below for locations and details.

You are welcome to use our collections on-site. Books located in the circulating collection are not mediated and are on self-service “open stacks.” Check the latest Library Hours to make sure we are open when you would like to visit. 

The majority of our Comic Arts Collection is in the Department of Special Collections & University Archives (SCUA) in the Library. SCUA welcomes visitors from other institutions and the general public. SCUA hours are typically Monday thru Friday 10am - 4pm. It is helpful to email in advance of your visit to make sure we will be open.

Comics located in SCUA do not circulate and must be used in our Reading Room. Because part of our mission is to preserve materials, SCUA has some special rules. When you arrive, you will be asked to stow your personal belongings in cubicles near the door and complete a short registration process. Food and drink are not permitted in SCUA. You are welcome to use your laptop and a cell phone or camera without using the flash. We ask that you not use a pen near the materials. Pencils are provided. We also have an overhead scanner on which you can make high-quality scans of materials to email or save to a USB drive. 

SCUA bookstacks are not browsable by patrons. SCUA employees will page the items you wish to use. Paging typically only takes a few minutes, but can sometimes take up to 10-15 minutes. If you know all or some of the titles you wish to view and can let us know ahead of your visit, we can usually pull them and have them waiting for you when you arrive. We can also hold the items for return visits if you are working over a couple of days.

Use the Comic Arts Research Guide to help you identify titles you wish to view. Note that comics can be found in OneSearch (books), the Comics Hub (single issue “floppy” comic books) and in the Finding Aid Database (archival collections, including zines and minicomics). Unfortunately, we do not currently have a way to search across all three platforms so you may need to conduct multiple searches. 

If the Call Number says Comic Arts (Comics Corner on the 1st floor) or JUV (Juvenile Collection on the 4th floor), it is in our circulating collection, which is self-service and open during the Library's open hours.

For books from OneSearch that say Special Collections in the call number, the SCUA Research Desk will need the call number to page the title for you. I also recommend writing down part of the title just in case.

All single-issue “floppy” comics are in SCUA. Use the Comics Hub to search the collection. The SCUA Desk will need the title, volume (if one), and issue number. Please ignore the “Index Number” in these records. It does not help us page the item. 

For items from our archival collections, use the Finding Aid Database (or the direct links provided on the Comic Arts Research Guide). Please note the collection it’s in, item title and the box number if you can. Example: Zines and Mini Comics / Abatis / Box A1

Access to most of our online subscription comics (e-books and the Underground Comix Database) may be accessed using your own laptop on-campus if you connect to the SDSU Wifi.  

Ride the Trolley (light rail; the Green Line stops at SDSU)
Link to Campus Map (the Library is located in the center of campus near the Commons and Bookstore - look for the glass dome)