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Cal Poly Research via University Archives

Researching 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. 

You can reach us via email ( and you can schedule an online appointment to meet with staff on Zoom to get help with your research.

Archives Instruction Sessions: Special Collections and Archives offers remote synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Contact Laura Sorvetti at

Library updates: The library has put together an informational page on accessing library resources and services from remote locations. 

Using this Guide

This guide is designed to introduce folks to resources on Cal Poly that are found in the University Archives, part of Special Collections and Archives at Robert E. Kennedy Library

The information in this guide is separated into sections. Please use the tabs at the left to navigate to each section.

Please contact Special Collections and Archives staff if you need further help!

About University Archives

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.

Examples Include:

  • Papers of the Presidents
  • Land acquisition documents
  • Academic Senate records
  • Yearbooks and annuals
  • Course catalogs
  • Athletic Records, such as programs and media guides
  • Student clubs and organization records
  • Scrapbooks
  • Student Newspapers
  • Photographs

Click through the sections on the left to learn more about our collections.