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About Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives is an administrative unit of the Library that includes UC San Diego's distinguished Mandeville Special Collections and the long-established Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives. The two collections were combined in July 2013.

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) houses a wide range of rare books, manuscripts, periodicals, maps, photographs, artworks, films, sound recordings, archives, and digital files. These primary source materials support UC San Diego's instructional and research programs, and distinguish UC San Diego's library collections from all other research universities.

Areas of exceptional strength include early voyages of exploration and discovery to the Pacific; the Spanish Civil War, the largest extant collection on this subject; post-1945 American poetry in the "alternative" tradition, including extensive collections of poets' manuscripts and correspondence; the history of San Diego, southern California, and Baja California; and contemporary science and public policy, including the personal archives of some of the nation's most renowned scientists; and the history of oceanography. The culinary history of Mexico, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim; Melanesian anthropology; and artists' books are also important collecting areas. The Dr. Seuss Collection, the world's largest repository of the beloved author's original drawings, sketches, and manuscripts, is housed within SC&A, as are the UC San Diego Archives and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Archives, two collections of materials that document the history of the campus.

All SC&A materials are cataloged, and finding aids for manuscript collections are available online. SC&A materials must be used in the library's reading room, although limited duplication may be possible. Please visit our policies page for guidelines on using materials.

Instructional sessions may be arranged by contacting us at

Special Collections & Archives is actively digitizing portions of its collections to make them more widely accessible. We welcome suggestions for digitization from UC San Diego faculty.