Gaps and Silences in Archives and Special Collections
While archives have been viewed as unbiased repositories of the past, they are in fact spaces of gaps and silences. These gaps and silences are due to historical, institutional, and internalized racism, classism, sexism, and ignorance of marginalized genders and sexualities. Bias enters both into what you find or don't find in the the archives--archival silence--and what you read in the archivist's description. Archives have never been neutral.
(she/her/hers) Reference and instruction specialist for Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives. Background in the study of history and K-12 teaching. CP Alum. Not-practicing letterpress printer. Passionate about increasing use and access to archives.
Special Collections and Archives
Kennedy Library, Cal Poly
Special Collections and Archives Updates during COVID-19
While the Special Collections and Archives reading room is currently closed to the public, Special Collections and Archives staff continue to offer remote reference support and you can access our digitized archives online. If you have questions, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach us via email (email@example.com) and you can schedule an online appointmentto meet with staff on Zoom to get help with your research.
Summer and Fall Quarter Archives Instruction Sessions: Special Collections and Archives offers remote synchronous and asynchronous instruction for Summer and Fall Quarter 2020. Contact Laura Sorvetti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University Archives is part of Special Collections and Archives, a department of the Kennedy Library. The University Archives was established in 1978 as the official repository for the historical records of Cal Poly.
The department is located in Room 409 on the 4th floor of the library.
Archives staff preserve, describe, digitize, and support use of University Archives collections for the purpose of preserving them and making them accessible to both the Cal Poly community and the larger community for research and other purposes.
University Archives materials are stored separately from Kennedy Library’s general collections due to their rare and unique qualities, physical condition, and/or format. Materials held in University Archives do not circulate outside the department, though many are digitized and are available for free online.
Everyone is welcome!
Type of Primary Sources You Will Find in the University Archives
The University Archives provides information on campus life, organizations, and activities; the physical campus, its facilities and the built environment; non-confidential information on faculty, administrators, staff and alumni; and campus lore and traditions.
Papers of the Presidents
Land acquisition documents
Academic Senate records
Yearbooks and annuals
Athletic Records, such as programs and media guides
Student clubs and organization records
Click through the sections on the left to learn more about our collections.