Skip to main content


Browse by Subject

  • The Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection consists of hundreds of manuscripts written, collected, and used by the Franciscans at Mission Santa Clara, from the founding of the Mission in 1777 until the arrival of the Jesuits in 1851. A detailed finding aid is available.
  • Relics and devotional materials of Fray Magín Catalá, the "Holy Man of Santa Clara," as well as papers related to the cause of his beatification, are also held in the unit. A finding aid is available.
  • The Mission Santa Clara Library consists of the books that remained with the Mission when custody was transferred to the Jesuits. A survey of the collection is in progress; while it is underway, an incomplete list is available online or in the book A History of the Santa Clara Mission Library by Beryl Hoskin, available in the circulating collection and in the reading room.
  • Archives & Special Collections also holds a collection of site plans, surveys, plot maps, and landscape drawings of the Mission Santa Clara, created between 1854 and 1980. A detailed list is available.
  • Archives & Special Collections holds the records, photographs, and publications of Santa Clara University, with some records dating back to the founding of Santa Clara College in 1851. More about the university records. Descriptions of the photograph collections are available.
  • Archives & Special Collections also holds several books on the history of the University as well as unpublished manuscripts of additional works.

Materials related to California history, settlement, and culture are activley collected. Non-fiction books cover the entire region (including Baja California) up to the Gold Rush era, with later materials related to the Bay Area with a particular focus on Santa Clara County. We also hold pre-1950 fiction set in or related to California, and Bay Area fiction books from 1950-2000; fictional materials are now collected only when they support the University's curriculum.

Several manuscript collections address California history, particularly that of the Santa Clara region. The John J. Montgomery Collection contains the papers of the aviation pioneer. Personal papers of local families the Pinedos, the Murphys, the de Saissets, and the Pelleranos, and the Reid Family Papers are also held in the unit.

Archives & Special Collections holds a wide variety of materials by and about the Society of Jesus and its members. Books range from Geronimo Nadal's Adnotationes et Meditationes in Evangelia, a series of illustrations and commentary on Gospel scenes personally requested by Saint Ignatius, to records of Jesuits who died while on missions, to many volumes of Regula and Correspondence. There is a strong overlap between the Jesuitica books, the Jesuits in Fiction collection, and the materials on Missionaries and Travel.

This collection contains materials from the sixteenth century to the present day. It was begun by Gerald McKevitt, S.J., who donated its core volumes to the library in 2006. Since then, it has been expanded through further donations and through library acquisitions. Novels comprise the majority of the collection, which also includes works of poetry and drama, anti-Jesuit diatribes, audio-visual materials, and manuscript materials. Further anti-Jesuit writings can be found in the collection of the California Province Archive.

Archives & Special Collections is actively pursuing opportunities to expand research materials in this field, and is working in collaboration with the Religious Studies Department to cement the collecting focus. The papers of Sandra Schneiders are central to the development of this research subject.

These materials are closely associated with our Jesuitica. Travel and geographical books were of interest and utility to the Jesuit missionaries who traveled the world. Our holdings deal primarily with Latin America, Oceana, and Asia. Anthropological, zoological, and botanical interests predominate, complemented by general-interest travel narratives.

Bernard Rosecrans Hubbard, S.J., the "Glacier Priest," spent a great deal of his time in the Arctic. A finding aid covering his papers and photographs is available, while his more personal effects are held by the California Province Archive. Many of his artifacts are housed in the de Saisset Museum on the SCU campus.

Seventeenth- and eighteenth- century books form the bulk of these materials, which are searchable via OSCAR. While Jesuit scholars are particularly well-represented, the books encompass a wide variety of Christian thought. The majority of these works are in Latin, with French, Italian, Spanish, and English also included. The early Church Fathers are best represented in the Mission Santa Clara Library.

Archives & Special Collections holds many of the books used in scientific instruction during the early decades of Santa Clara College. Books on optics and on practical experimentation are particularly well represented. Many of the scientific instruments used in SCC science classes are kept in Archives & Special Collections.

The Jerome S. Ricard, S.J., papers includes biographical materials, publications, research papers, and correspondence dealing with 19th century astronomy, meteorology, and seismology. The Alberto F. Porta Papers, though primarily dealing with architecture, contain some materials on early 20th century meteorology and seismology.

Consists of material documenting the administration by the Jesuit Provincial superior and his staff of the houses, ministries, and personnel under his jurisdiction. The California Province covers the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Hawaii, and included in the collection is material concerning Jesuit universities, high schools, spirituality and retreat centers, parishes, social programs, formation houses, and other works. The bulk of the material maintained dates from approximately 1850 to the recent past, from the time that California was a mission territory of the Italian Turin Province, through its becoming an independent jurisdiction in 1909, through the beginnings of new ministries and the closing of others. In depth collections include the history of missionary work by Californians in China, 1928-1957, Jesuit spiritual and educational formation programs, and the Novitiate of Los Gatos winery. Personal papers of California Jesuits form a large part of the collection.Documents include correspondence, from 1850 on, financial records (ledgers, etc.), maps, plans, blueprints and architectural drawings, and photographs. Early correspondence is primarily in
Latin and Italian, later supplanted by English. Art work, religious objects, vestments, etc. are included as well. An antiquarian and rare book collection, 1488-1800, consisting primarily of theological and devotional works, Jesuit history and biography, and neo-Latin poetry is maintained. Included are many 18th century French anti-Jesuit pamphlets.

Browse by Material Type

Archives & Special Collections holds a variety of artifacts and realia as well as books and papers. Highlights of these collections include the 19th century scientific instrument collection and the Santa Clara University Medals and Awards Collection. Many of the manuscript collections also contain three-dimensional objects, as well, such as the airplane models in the John J. Montgomery Collection.

Dating back to the founding of the Mission Santa Clara in 1777, these collections include papers from the original Mission, papers from faculty and others with a relationship to Santa Clara University, and other collections acquired to support the research interests of faculty and students. Publications and personal papers from select faculty and staff members are also collected for preservation purposes. Online finding aids are available at the Online Archive of California.

Extensive holdings of photographs documenting the visual history of SCU from its founding in 1851 to the present. These include prints, negatives, slides, and contact sheets. Images have been created or accumulated by offices on campus, by individuals associated with the university, and by professional photographers.

The majority of the books held in Archives & Special Collections are rare, with printed works dating back to 1481. Earlier written works include medieval manuscript leaves, a page of papyrus with Coptic writing, and a Sumerian cuneiform tablet. Also collected are modern rare books, both limited edition fine press books and unique artists' books. Modern, mass-produced books are acquired when they support the research needs of our subject collections, such as recent scholarly works about the history of California Missions, and paperback science fiction novels in our Jesuits in Fiction collection.

University records are the permanent historical records of Santa Clara University, from its founding in 1851 to the present. The records document the governance, administration and academic pursuits of the institution. Archives & Special Collections also holds graduate theses, faculty & student publications, and many other SCU-related collections in a variety of formats.

Scholar Commons is a Santa Clara University Library service that enables SCU community members to deposit their scholarly works, digitally preserving them and making them accessible to the world. Works deposited into Scholar Commons are reliably preserved at a stable and permanent URL, and are considered Open Access materials.

Archives & Special Collections has an active digitization program dedicated to increasing the availability of our holdings online.