When it comes to the Humboldt State library, most students think of computers and labs where rows of people can be found researching class assignments or projects. Many buy coffee at the Library Café, or use the little reference desk near the library entrance.
One of the lesser-known features of the library is the Humboldt Room located on the third floor. Anna Kircher, the interim dean of the library, said the room serves as a repository for material that is important and unique to the history of Humboldt County.
“The Humboldt Room holds local history, along with special resources which include historical photos, information on local tribes and historical documents on Northern California,” Kircher said.
If you are doing any research about Humboldt County or the history of HSU, the Humboldt Room is the place to go. It contains primary sources of information that cannot be found anywhere else.
Over time professors, community members and companies have donated books, manuscripts and photographs.
The library organizes the donations for future researchers and keeps them as the “special collections.”
The special collections include student books, essays, photographs, studies published by professors and maps relating to north-western California. Access is provided primarily through the library’s catalog and the library webpage.
The historical photos and documents contain the history of local tribes, resources and primary industries such as logging, forestry, fishing and HSU.
Geology is also another large aspect cataloged–the Humboldt Room covers the history and patterns of earthquakes in Humboldt County.
Quetzalli Rocha is a social work major and senior at HSU.
“I became familiar with the room in my Native American studies class and that was two years ago,” said Quetzalli Rocha. Rocha is a social work major and senior at HSU. “The room is great for students studying historical content.”
The materials in the Humboldt Room are available for use by visiting scholars, the general public, as well as HSU students, faculty and staff.
Carly Marino is one of the librarians in charge of maintaining the collection of historical artifacts.
“It is nice for the library to have special collections. People come from all over the country to view the collection. We can look at what we were doing 100 years ago and we are also still recording and storing information for future generations to come,” Marino said.
During the academic year, hours for the Humboldt Room are Monday 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m.
The library is hosting a showcase all throughout the month of March entitled, “The Evolution of Information.”
It is the first exhibit the library has shown, illustrating the changing nature of information over the past 100 years.
The event will be held Wednesday, March 5 at 3:00 p.m. in the library lobby.
(Originally published in HSU’s campus newspaper The Lumberjack in 2014.)