60 Years of Leonard Library as a Federal Depository Library


The J. Paul Leonard Library is celebrating its 60th year as a selective Federal Depository Library! Since 1955, we have been serving the university and the 12th Congressional district. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by the Printing Act of 1895 as a cooperative program between the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and designated public and private libraries. Currently, there are 1150 FDLP libraries nationwide whose mission is to provide free public access to Federal Government information. Government information is published on every subject imaginable, from art to zoology, in multiple formats (electronic, print, posters, maps). Our collection also includes San Francisco City and County, State of California, and international documents.
This exhibit is a collaboration of
Government Publications and Historic Collections
at the J. Paul Leonard Library.


eBook Textbooks!


Library staff working with the Bookstore and the Disability Programs and Resource Center have created a web page listing the Summer 2015 textbooks that are available as free eBooks in the Library. Most of these eBooks can be used by multiple students at the same time.

Check the list of titles to see if any textbooks required for your classes are available as free eBooks in the Library.

We hope the number of eBook Textbooks will grow quickly in future semesters, as both students and faculty become aware of the increasing number of eBooks available through the Library.


Photo Exhibit: Labor Landmarks of San Francisco


Dual Views explores the hidden historic labor landscape of San Francisco:  Depression-era waterfront battles between striking longshoremen and police, iconic labor temples amongst soaring office towers, a former dynamite factory in idyllic Glen Canyon, and more. San Francisco State University alumni Wendy Crittenden and Tom Griscom drew upon the Labor Archives and Research Center’s San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book to identify sites and then roamed the city’s streets seeking traces of its restive past.

The dramatic images in Dual Views underscore the city’s ever-changing landscape. Wendy Crittenden searched “for relics of past, observing the transition of place. We struggle to keep place, but place is always in flux.” San Francisco was once a gritty working port before it became the current tourist destination and home to trendy shops and upscale restaurants.  As Tom Griscom notes “in the end, what we choose to preserve, what we choose to repurpose, and what we choose to forget is a testament to what we value as a society.”

Crittenden and Griscom’s contrasting styles form a fresh vision of the city and add a new perspective on the tradition of landscape photography. “The images bring the viewer to each place as a stranger, each can assume and deduce his/her own imagined memory of it,” says Crittenden while Griscom argues  “This is not a documentary based on certain historical events or specific moments in time; rather, my goal is to show how these places comment on the evolution of a city itself.”

The opening reception on April 2nd will feature remarks by the photographers about their work and a talk by noted San Francisco labor historian Robert Cherny.


Dual Views
Labor Landmarks of San Francisco

Photography by Wendy Crittenden & Tom Griscom
A Labor Archives & Research Center Exhibition

Exhibit Opening April 2, 2015 |  5:00pm to 7:00pm

Exhibition Dates: March 19 – August 7, 2015

Featuring Remarks by the Artists and
Professor Emeritus Robert Cherny

Labor Archives and Research Center
J. Paul Leonard Library
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Avenue, 4th Floor


Library’s Oldest Manuscript is Now Digitized


The 1368 Oath, part of the Frank V. de Bellis Collection, can now be seen in the Digital Special Collections.

Our fourteenth century manuscript, “Oath of Allegiance of the Members of the Maggior Consiglio of Venice and Oath of Andrea Contarini, Doge of Venice (1368-1383),” has been digitized; it is thought to be the oldest version of the Oath.

This is the Oath of Allegiance of a high official of the Venetian Republic. The Contarini family was one of the twelve that elected the first Doge, and furnished between 1043 and 1674 eight Doges, four Patriarchs, along with many generals, statesmen, artists, poets, and scholars. Andrea Contarini was elected Doge in 1367; during his reign, the War of Chioggia between the Venetian Republic and the Republic of Genoa took place in 1380. Contarini was noted for his personal bravery during the war, though in his seventies, he took personal command of the Venetian Navy with Admiral Vettor Pisani as chief of staff, and led troops in the critical battle; he was also the first to melt down his plate and mortgage his property to benefit the State.

The manuscript in Latin was scribed in 1368 on 48 double leaves of vellum. The first leaf of each treatise has a fine historiated initial letter, with miniatures of the doge, and marginal ornamentation in the Italian style.

The Oath was at one time part of Lord North’s Library (Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, 1731-1792) who was British Prime Minister at the wrong time (1770-1782), and voted out of office with “no confidence” after England’s defeat at Yorktown.