Fawaz Qashat

Spotlighting Comics in Special Collections

Written by Fawaz Qashat
SDSU Biology Major, 2021

San Diego State University has an amazing selection of comics that anyone is welcome to use! From the Comics Corner on the 1st floor of the Love Library to the Juvenile collection on the 4th floor, the treasure trove of comics at SDSU is vast and librarians are on hand to help you find titles we may not own. One important place where you can find comics of all types from across the ages is Special Collections. Located on the 1st floor of the Love library (directly next to the Comics Corner), Special Collections has rare, unique and specialized collections, including texts from across the world and as early as the 1200s. A big part of the collection is comics that range from floppy comics to graphic novels and ephemera. Pamela Jackson is the popular culture librarian and she curates the comics in SCUA (Special Collections and University Archives).

SCUA’s comics collection is made up of several donations from comics enthusiasts. All of the bound comics can be found on SDSU library’s One Search site. Floppy comics can be located in the Comics Hub catalog. One Search allows you to find bound comics (and other printed texts) by searching for title or author as well as the library location. Any search can be narrowed to Special Collections which shows exactly what is present in the collection.

The first step to being able to read a comic from Special Collections is using One Search or the Comics Hub to find the desired comic. Once that comic is found, the next step is to make an appointment. At the door of Special Collections, a QR code is present that sends you to a page where you can make an appointment. From there, further details are given on when you can come in to read your comic. After coming into Special Collections, a series of steps must be followed in order to handle the material with care since everything in SCUA is also being preserved for future generations. Some of the rules and guidelines include: No pens are allowed to be used for note taking (but we provide pencils), water and all belongings must be placed in cubbies, and masks must be worn at all times. Additionally, no comics or other material can be taken outside of the Special Collections Reading Room. But do not worry! Each person is given 2 hours to look at their material and if they have to leave and come back at another time, SCUA can put the comics on hold for a later time. You can enjoy the comic you have chosen, take pictures of certain pages without using your camera flash, and even scan the comic so you could have a digital copy! Not all comics can be scanned, however, because some are in delicate condition, but don’t worry, friendly library professionals will be available to guide you. Learn more about the Comic Arts Collection at the SDSU Library here:

If you would like to make an appointment and take a look at a comic from the vast selection in SCUA, the barcode is here below: