Hello! I am an Archivist at Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives. I can help you navigate archives research and primary sources, from Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives to around the world and online.
Special Collections and Archives
Kennedy Library, Cal Poly
Gaps and Silences in Archives and Special Collections
While archives have been viewed as unbiased repositories of the past in its entirety, they are in fact spaces of gaps and silences. These gaps and silences are due to changing opinions of archivists have considered "of enduring value," and can reflect historical, institutional, and internalized racism, classism, sexism, and ignorance of marginalized genders and sexualities. Biases may also impact the archivist's description. Archives are not neutral.
Sometimes, when you are just getting started with research in an archives, it can help to see collections from communities, or about topics and subjects, to get familiar. Here we've listed some of the archival collections that may be of interest as you begin your research. This is a selection to get you started. You can also browse many of our collections on the Online Archive of California.
Many of the archives relate to the experiences of communities on the Central Coast and California. Here are some of the archival collections:
The archives holds a variety of materials that document the history of California Travel and Boosterism history, from train schedules to city brochures. These materials are cataloged in the library's catalog OneSearch. Explore the collection.
Search across all the Online Archive by keyword or date:
search names of individuals, families, organizations
search by location, including city and streets
search keywords we use today to describe the place/topic ANDkeywords that would have been used historically to describe the place/topic/time
use the filters to narrow your search
Additional collections are not yet searchable online. Contact Special Collections and Archives staff to discuss your research topic and learn if there are more materials that can support your research at Cal Poly.
Searching the library catalog for books, magazines, and other published materials
Any published materials in Special Collections and Archives are cataloged separately and are searchable on the library's catalog OneSearch.