Special Collections

Come to Special Collections (PL-4005, library 4th floor) to research CSUSB history, find information on San Bernardino, or read a comic book! Bring a government-issued photo ID. The librarian on duty during desk hours will ask you to fill out a research application, then help you find the materials you need and bring them out for you to use in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Collections Available for Use

Pfau Library Groundbreaking
Arthur E. Nelson Archives of the history of California State University San Bernardino
Old San Bernardino Courthouse
The Joseph Andrew Rowe Water Resources Archives
Old San Bernardino Courthouse
California Postcard Collection
Photograph of petroglyph of quetzalcoatl
Charles Clayton Howe Photographs of the Excavations of the Archaeological Survey Foundation
Photograph of a citrus label
Citrus Label Collection
Batman comic book cover
Comic Book Collection

Major James McLaughlin Papers

Pulp Fiction Collection

Latino Baseball History Project: The Southern California Experience
Newspaper ad for Steele's Photo Service in the San Bernardino Sun printed in 1934
Steele Photo Collection
in front of the Office of Reports Free Pres
WWII Japanese Relocation Center and Internment Camp Newspapers
Cover of an Inland Empire Business Journal
Inland Empire Business Journal
Portrait of Graciano Gomez
Graciano Gomez Papers
the Salton Sea
The Salton Sea Archives
Aerial shot of Baldwin Lake
WRI Aerial Photo Collection

Selected Exhibits

OZ and Latino Baseball History


The Pfau Library's Special Collections supports CSUSB's mission of enhancing the intellectual, cultural, and personal development of its students. We seek to expand the university's role as a center of cultural and intellectual activity by collecting, preserving, and providing access to rare and stimulating materials, documents of historic and cultural significance, and primary resources on the university and local communities.

History of the Pfau Library's Special Collections

CSUSB's first library director, Arthur E. Nelson, began purchasing books for the collection before the campus was built! He was appointed by CSUSB founding president, John M. Pfau, in April 1963. When the campus opened in September 1965, the library's collections included some rare books and archival materials, and the collections grew over the subsequent years.

The Special Collections Department was established in Fall 2008. Our Grand Opening celebration was held on November 19, 2008.