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Cal Poly Research via University Archives

Researching Cal Poly in the University Archives and beyond

Searching for primary sources in University Archives (not digitized)

The University Archives includes over 100 collections with over 500 boxes of materials, and millions documents and objects. Many of the collections in the University Archives do not have an online presence. You can only find them in the Special Collections and Archives department in the Library. The staff of Special Collections and Archives are available to help you identify materials that would be helpful for your research.

The University Archives Register is the first place to start searching the University Archives, it lists the majority of the collections in the University Archives: Link to University Archives Register

Collection-level finding aids

Some of the collections listed in the Register have their own inventories. These inventories describe what is in the collection, to a box or folder-level description. 

Collections as they are processed are available on the Online Archive of California

Here are some of the collections in University Archives:

If you find a collection in University Archives that you would like to research, you can set up an appointment with the archives.

Presidential Records

The University Archives holds the records of the Cal Poly directors and presidents. 

There are especially large collections of the three presidents who served from 1933 - 2011. These collections have inventories that describe the materials to a folder level:

ASI Clubs and Organizations

There is a large collection of records documenting the activities of campus clubs and organizations. The bulk of the collection is focused on the 1950s-1970s. Browse the collection. 

Crime Statistics

Clery Report - Annual Security Report

University Archives also holds print copies of the Annual Safety Reports from 1999-2015. Request UA550.04 at the Special Collections service desk.

Archived online access via the campus Police Department:

Direct link to archived online access 2015 onward:*/

Campus Landscape and Buildings

The University Archives holds a wealth of material documenting the construction and layout of campus and buildings since 1903. 

This includes: 

  • Architectural drawings of campus buildings
  • Master Plan documents
  • Maps of campus
  • Land Use records
  • History of campus landscape
  • Historical research on campus buildings and sites
  • Historic photos and audiovisual materials documenting the campus

Helpful places to start:

Research Files in University Archives

University Archives keeps research files on a variety of topics. They are a good resource when you are starting your research on a topic.

You can request these files at the Special Collections and Archives front desk, Room 409.

Subject Files

Subject Files                                                                                         

Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) /Student Affairs Council (SAC)

Adelaida (aka Adelaide, community in SLO County)

Aeronautical (Aero) Engineering

Ag: Animal Science

Ag: Veterinary Medicine (agriculture)

Alcohol Policy

All Poly Weekend

Alumni Association

Alumni –Biographical anecdotes, memoirs

Ancient DNA

Annual Reports

Arboretum (Leaning Pine Arboretum) 

Architecture and Environmental Design, College of

Archives of CPSU (University Archives)

Athletic Hall of Fame

Athletic History - General

Bands, music on Campus


Block P on Bishop’s Peak [Walter J. Lumley, class of 1926]


Boy’s Town

Brickyards and brick history, San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley

Building Data Sheets

Buildings on Campus - construction

Buildings on Campus (history)

Buildings: Agricultural Education (aka "Old Ag Ed" or Household Arts buildings, Weeks building, demolished)

Buildings: Cottages (85, 86, 87)

Buildings: Engineering West

Buildings: Feed Mill

Buildings: Power House

Buildings: President's House (University House)

Buildings: Vetville/Silver City/Married Students/Poly Ninos

Buildings: University Union, McPhee

Cal Poly History (general)

Cal Poly Mace

Cal Poly Lands Book

Cal Poly Today

California (Misc.)

Campus Clubs

Campus Maps (copies, handouts)

Campus Safety


Civil Rights Movement at Cal Poly

Chicano/Latino Students

Chinese-American experience, Chinatown (SLO)

Class Gifts

Class of 1906 (first graduating class)

Class of 1949

Clock Tower (Bell Tower)



Commencement speakers

Communism and Cal Poly

Concrete Canoe

Counseling Services at Cal Poly

Death & Campus Life


Dining on Campus History

Disabilities, Students/faculty with

Diversity/ Ethnic Groups on Campus

Diversity of faculty and staff (1970 Employment survey of women and ethic minorities)

Dogs on Campus

Drugs on Campus

Engineering Cal Poly


Enrollment (Cal Poly)

Enterprise Projects

Ethnic Studies Department

Experimental Structures Facility, Architecture Graveyard, Poly Canyon

Exposition Park

Filipino-American Experience on the Central Coast

Football Team

Football Team (1960 plane crash)

Foreign students/International Students


Founder’s Day

Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Cal Poly

Geodesic Dome

Glenmont – See AERO

Greek Life – Fraternities & Sororities


Hollywood & Cal Poly

Home Economics


Horse Breeding & Racing (Pari mutual)

Housing, on campus, students (Dormitories, residence halls, residential communities)

Human Powered Helicopter

Industrial Technology

International Center/Peace Corps

Japanese-American experience, Internment, Nisei Students

Journalism Department

KCPR Campus Radio

Korean War

Landmarks (campus)

Landmarks (campus) – Three Acre Lawn, Poly Grove, O’Neill Green, Howes Memorial

Learn by Doing/Earn by Doing

LGBT/Queer Student Union/Gay Student Union

Library – Cal Poly

Maps of Campus

Master Plan, Cal Poly [new folder]

Mascot, Mustang

Memorabilia (Cal Poly)

Military (ROTC, Vetville, etc., )

Montana de Oro/Spooners/Field

Multicultural Center

Mustang Daily, El Mustang, Mustang News, Student newspaper, Polygram

Mustang Stadium

Mustang Statue Mascot

Nuclear Reactor, Cal Poly

Octagon Barn, Pereira, San Luis Obispo


Organizational Charts

Painted Rock, Carrizo Plain / Brumley Noyes Family 

Parking & Transportation on Campus

Performing Arts Center (PAC)

Poly P

Poly Pier (Port San Luis)

Poly Royal/Open House

Poly Royal:  Biographical Anecdotes


Print Shop/Printing at Cal Poly/Shakespeare Press Museum

Prostitution - San Luis Obispo red light district and relation to Cal Poly

Queens and Princesses

Railroads in San Luis Obispo County (Southern Pacific Railroad, Pacific Coast Railway)

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) – See MILITARY

Rodeo, Cal Poly (Cal Poly Rodeo Team, Open House Rodeo)

Rose Parade

San Luis Obispo County, landscapes, photographs, 1975-1977 (two color photographs of Morro Bay and the Irish Hills)

Seal – Cal Poly

Seal – CSU

Senior Projects

Sheriff's Office, San Luis Obispo County

Speakers, Musicians, Bands, famous visitors to campus


State Statutes

Stewart, G. (Women Faculty at CPS)

Student Lists/Directories (1906-1914)

Student Lists/Directories (1916-1917)

Student Lists/Directories (1917-1919

Sunny Acres Children’s Acre/Juvenile

Swanton Pacific Ranch

Tank Farm

Thoroughbred Enterprise

Time Capsule/Cornerstone

Timeline – Cal Poly (includes sources)

Title IX

Tractor Pull


Travel (SLO)

Trees on Campus (eucalyptus, class trees)

U.S. 101 / Highway 1 / Pacific Coast Highway / route 2

Victory Bell

Veterans against the War (Vietnam War Veterans)

Vietnam Veterans at Cal Poly

Wars Plaque

Weather at Cal Poly

Weather Station, Cal Poly

Wine and Viticulture Department

Women and Gender Studies

Women at Cal Poly, before 1950

Women at Cal Poly, after 1950

Women at Cal Poly - Cal Poly Women's Club

WWII Cal Poly Alumni (veterans)

WWII Navy Training Reunions

Yearbooks (misc. photocopies)

Biographical Subject Files

Biographical Files

Anderson, Leroy

Anderson, Richard “Dick”

Andrews, Dale

Angel, Myron

Armendariz, Pedro

Armstrong, Jeffrey D.

Awl, Elmer (non-grad. Alumnus, 1908)

Ayres, Tony P.

Bailey, Jane Horton

Baker, Warren J.

Beck, Carl “Gus”

Brown, Howard C.

Buccola, Vic

Carter, Armistead B.

Chandler, Everett (2)

Chase, Margaret H.

Cody, William F. (1916-1978) (architect)

Condit, Ira Judson

Considine, R. J. (Jim)

Crandall, Benjamin

Cubbison, Sophia Huchting

Culbertson, James

Davidson, Harold P. “Davey”

Deuel, Joseph C.

Dexter, Walter F.

Durgin, William W. “Bill”

Earhart, Amelia

Gans, Danny

Garrod, R.V.

Genther, Fred

Glidden, Wallace 

Hasslein, George

Heald, Oscar Leslie

Heron, Alexander

Howard-Green, Dan (Staff)

Jepson, James (San Luis Obispo builder and contractor)

Jones, Hazel

Kennedy, Robert E. & Mary

Kerouac, Jack in San Luis Obispo

Koberg, Donald

Koob, Robert D.

Louis, Young (alumnus

Madden, John

Martinsen, Martin “Marty” C.

McPhee, Julian A.

Montrose, Saul “Monty” (2)

Moriarty, Al

Morris, Don

Mott, Robert A.

Murray-Selle, Dr. Mary Etta

Nicholson, Loren

Paderewski, Ignacy Jan

Pellaton, Evelyn I.

Ramos, George

Reagan, Ronald (68th commencement address & excerpts from Robert E. Kennedy inauguration)

Rible, Ulysses Floyd F.A.I.A (1904-1982) MS0038

Roadhouse, James Edwyn

Robinson, Jackie

Rutan, Burt

Sheehan, Flossie Jordan (Mechanical Engineering professor, 1960-62)

Sinsheimer/Avenales Ranch Santa Margarita/Sinton

Sinsheimer, Marion

Sinsheimer, Warren

Smith, Gerald

Smith, Morris Eugene

Smith, Ozzie

Spanos, Alex G.

Szukalski, Caspar (Cas)

Tafton, Stephanie Brown

Warren, Harry Glen (Aeronautics)

Winslow, Carleton

Yankovic, Weird Al

Zingg, Paul J.