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Special Collections and Archives

Tips and tools for researching primary sources in Special Collections and Archives and online

In-Person Appointments

The archives reading room is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm for research appointments, with a lunch break from noon to 1pm. At this time, we can accommodate up to two researchers in the reading room at a time.

We ask researchers to schedule an appointment at least two business days in advance so our staff have time to retrieve and prepare materials for your visit. Email to schedule an appointment.

Special Collections and Archives is following Cal Poly masking protocol. Regardless of vaccination status, all researchers must wear masks indoors. Visit Cal Poly’s Coronavirus Information page for up-to-date information for students, staff, faculty, and community visitors.

Special Collections and Archives is unable to accept drop-off donations at the reading room or library front desk. If you are interested in donating materials, please email 

Image: Photograph of the archives reading room. An archives staff person will be available to help you when you enter. Researchers will be assigned seating.

Schedule a Virtual Reading Room Appointment

With the Virtual Reading Room service, you can meet with archives staff to view archives materials over Zoom.

Contact us at to schedule a 1-hour meeting with an archives staff member. 

Contact the archives staff ( for help identifying materials relevant to your research or if you have questions about the Virtual Reading Room service.

image of virtual appointment set up, showing a laptop connected to a digital camera which is directed at a folder of archival material. An open archives box is in the center of the photo.a screenshot of a computer screen showing how meeting for a virtual appointment on zoom will work. The image displays a folder of archival records on the table, and a small image in the lower left corner shows the view of the archives staff person.

Schedule a Virtual Research Help Appointment

Schedule an appointment to meet for a 30-minute Zoom appointment with Laura Sorvetti, Reference Specialist, to get help with your research. If you need to meet at another time, email us at to set up an appointment.