These entries describe historical primary source collections available for research in Special Collections at the SDSU Library. Special Collections houses unique archival and manuscript collections, rare books and manuscripts, and graphic/ephemera collections.
The Rare Books Collection contains extensive holdings in a variety of topics relevant to both British and American literature. The collection is particularly strong in modern first editions,children’s literature, drama, women’s history, Beat Poets, and nineteenth-century literature. Use the PAC Advanced Keyword Search, and limit the location to “Special Collections.” One can also limit by date and type of material.
The Henry James Collection includes over 200 scarce editions of James’ work, as well as manuscripts of the author, works about his life, ephemera, and works by and about other members of the James family. Search “Henry James Collection” in the Advanced Keyword PAC search, and limit to Special Collections.
Claire Van Vliet started the Janus Press while a student at San Diego State in 1955. Janus Press is recognized as an outstanding leader in the book arts field and has made a major contribution to American fine printing. The independent small press is noted for creating innovative, hand-made, and experimental limited editions of contemporary poetry, literary classics, and fine books of art. A winner of the MacArthur "Genius" grant, Van Vliet has an extensive list of collaborators in literature, including Galway Kinnell and Rita Dove. Special Collections has a full run of Janus Press productions. Search “Janus Press” in the PAC Advanced Keyword search, and limit the location to “Special Collections.”