SJSU Special Collections & Archives

A Message from the Director

Dear Students and Faculty, On-site and Off-site Researchers, Friends of the Library and the general SJSU Community,

I hope that you are all safe and well. I wanted to reach out and let you know that Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) is now providing remote services like the rest of King Library. What can we do remotely? A lot, we are discovering. From students with reference questions to offsite researchers with requests for permissions, from donors with potential acquisitions to faculty in need of revising class projects or assignments, we remain available to assist you.

There is one thing we cannot do for a while: Provide access to our physical holdings. We miss our books and collections terribly, as well as our on-site researchers and tour groups and visiting classes. I miss seeing my staff and students every day. (Like everyone else, we are doing the next best thing: phone calls, emails, and Zoom meetings.) But our holdings are safe and secure in our vaults, and we eagerly look forward to sharing them with you again.

In the meantime, we plan to connect more via social media, as well as expand and update our webpages and digital content. Our LibGuides already offer links to a wide range of subjects collected by SC&A. Finding Aids providing content for and context about our collections are accessible on the OAC (Online Archive of California), and information about our books may be found on OneSearch. Be sure to peruse our digital materials on our new online platform as well.

You may contact us at, or me personally at, with any questions or concerns, including requests for help to navigate our online resources. Special Collections and Archives are wonderful things, but they wouldn’t be so special without the inquisitive, devoted, enthusiastic individuals who use them. Please continue staying safe and well, and thank you for your indefatigable support.



Craig S. Simpson
Director, SJSU Special Collections & Archives


SJSU Special Collections & Archives exist to acquire, preserve, arrange, describe, and make accessible its rich holdings of secondary and primary materials to support the diverse teaching and research needs of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, and the larger community. These collections document local, regional, and California history, with a specific focus on history, politics, literature, and art. In addition, the Department is responsible for documenting the history of the university, and has a large collection of university and faculty publications, administrative records, photographs, and ephemera.



100 Years of Women's Suffrage

SJSU’s Special Collections and Archives presents an exhibit of archival materials covering the local origins of the women’s suffrage movement, tracing these roots through to the present day. While Silicon Valley is known for its role in leading the technology industry, the South Bay Area also led the way for women in pioneering positions in local government and business. Featuring materials from former mayors Janet Gray Hayes, Dianne McKenna, and Susan Hammer; Kate Kennedy, a member of the first graduating class of the Normal School who became known for campaigning for equal pay for women; city councilwomen Blanca Alvarado and Iola Williams, and many other prominent local women in education, law, and science. 

The exhibit also showcases items from SJSU’s Women’s Studies program, local chapters of the National Organization for Women, the Women’s Heritage Museum, the League of Women Voters, and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Women from across the South Bay were actively hosting suffrage events and traveling across the United States to promote the cause, yet despite this, the history of the suffrage movement in San José and environs is much lesser known than the suffrage activities of other areas of the Bay Area like San Francisco and Oakland.