Resources & Collections
Creative arts and discovery thrive at SF State, supported by excellent facilities for developing and showcasing the work of students, faculty and visiting professionals. Each year, SF State sponsors hundreds of workshops, lectures, exhibits, debates and forums that entertain and enrich, many of them open to the public.
Collections and specialized facilities at SF State include the:
American Poetry Archives: the nation's largest, most comprehensive and heterogeneous collection of poetry on tape that is accessible to the public. Housing more than 3,000 audio and videotapes of writers performing their own works dating back to the Beat era, the collection features original recordings of William Carlos Williams, Langston Hughes, Marianne Moore and the earliest recorded documentation of the Beats and the San Francisco Renaissance. Professor Ruth Witt-Diamant established the center in 1954 with encouragement from her friend, poet Dylan Thomas. The newly launched digital archive will contain a large portion of the 9,000 hours of recordings the center has made since its founding.
Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies: the only academic research facility located on the San Francisco Bay. The marine field station and its research vessel, the R/V Questuary, give faculty and students unparalleled access to the largest estuary on the West Coast of the United States. RTC scientists conduct significant environmental research, educate and train the next generation of scientists and serve as an educational resource on estuarine and coastal environmental issues.
Henry D. Thiers Herbarium: home to the largest research and museum collection of mushrooms west of the Mississippi. The collection and its leader, Professor of Biology Dennis Desjardin, are central to SF State's leadership role in training the world's next generation of mycologists.
J. Paul Leonard Library Special Collections/Archives Department: maintains the San Francisco Bay Area Television News Archives with KQED, KTVU and KPIX historical film footage as its core, along with other rare or unusual materials. It also includes the Frank V. de Bellis Collection of Italic and early Etruscan materials.
Labor Archives and Research Center: the only facility devoted to the history of the region's lively labor movement. Founded in 1985 by trade union leaders, historians, labor activists and University administrators, the collection of more than 6,000 feet of primary source material includes photographs, oral histories, cartoons, handbills, picket signs and buttons.
Art Department Print Collection and Archive: includes master prints from the late 15th century through contemporary works. It houses more than 1,000 original prints and serves as a “teaching collection,” enabling printmaking students to view works in the various media within printmaking.
Fine Arts Gallery: showcases student work in a professional context and presents professional exhibitions that explore developments in international contemporary art and multiethnic contributions to California art. Regular shows include the Annual Stillwell Student Art Show, Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibitions and faculty exhibitions, as well as various topical exhibitions.
Sutro Egyptian Collection: includes more than 1,000 artifacts spanning 5,000 years. Originally owned by 19th century San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro, the collection focuses on typical articles of everyday life, including jewelry, pottery, stone vessels, linen fabric, headrests and gaming pieces.
Charles F. Hagar Planetarium: houses a Spitz Space System 512-star projector in a 26-foot dome, capable of showing representations of 1,354 stars, the sun, moon and planets. In addition, the facility has a 360 degree panorama projection system with an 80 scene capability, plus numerous special effects projectors. It is home to undergraduate astronomy classes, shows for visiting grade school students and occasional public shows.
Molecular Genetics Laboratory: provides molecular genetics equipment, computer analysis facilities and software for DNA extraction and sequencing, PCR, cloning and microsatellite analysis for students and faculty at SF State and other California State University and University of California campuses.
Broadcast facilities: include Studio 1, among the largest television studios of its kind in Northern California, allowing students and faculty to produce a full range of public affairs, dramatic and entertainment programming. Studio 3 is a state-of-the-art facility for television news production.
Advanced Cinema facilities: include the August Coppola Theatre with Dolby surround-sound system and 16mm, 35mm and video projection capabilities; a 2500-square-foot cinema sound stage; sound recording and mixing stages; digital cinema post-production facilities; and a computer and cell animation lab with Oxberry animation stands.
Nursing Technology Learning Classrooms (TLC): offer computer-controlled patient simulators, which allow faculty and students to address a full spectrum of nursing care scenarios. The high-fidelity simulators and computerized mannequins can be programmed to present a variety of health problems. Cameras, recording devices and playback equipment allow students to review and analyze their reactions and decisions during exercises with the simulators.
Fort Miley Adventure Challenge Course: located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, offers a safe and positive environment for developing leadership skills, confidence, trust and cooperation. In operation for more than three decades, the challenge course is used in educational programs and for business and nonprofit leadership experiences.
Greenhouse: a modern, computer-controlled facility that supports research and teaching for the Department of Biology. It is composed of 12 individual rooms that can be independently programmed for optimal climatic conditions. In addition to the Head House, there are three Collections Rooms -- cool humid, warm humid, and arid -- housing plants used for various courses and general display.
Physical Plant: The SF State campus is one of the best designed and maintained urban campuses in the United States according to the Professional Grounds Management Society, an organization of park, playing field and campus grounds managers. Campus groundskeepers received the organization's 2006 Green Star Award, which recognizes both the aesthetic appeal of campus grounds and technical skill of its maintenance.
While the main campus of SF State is located on 141.61 acres in the southwest corner of San Francisco, SF State has facilities throughout Northern California for specialized teaching and research:
- SF State Downtown Campus provides high-quality and affordable education in the heart of downtown San Francisco's dynamic hub for transportation, commerce and industry. It occupies nearly 125,000 square feet on the fifth and sixth floors of the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offering a setting unlike any other in higher education. Facilities include 33 classrooms, nine computer labs, and state-of-the-art audiovisual and computer connectivity.
- Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC) is situated on 42.1 acres in Marin County on the San Francisco Bay. The center offers undergraduate and graduate courses and research opportunities for students, faculty and adjunct researchers on the San Francisco Bay-Delta region and the Pacific Ocean. Much of the center's research focuses on understanding the natural forces at work in the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding wetland environments. RTC is home to the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (San Francisco Bay NERR), which promotes conservation of the remaining wetlands.
- Sierra Nevada Field Campus, located on nine acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills, offers courses open to the general public on the flora, fauna and geography of the foothills.
- University Center at Cañada College in Redwood City offers upper-division and graduate classes in business administration and child and adolescent development as well as graduate courses in teacher credential programs for elementary and secondary school teachers.
- Elk Grove Teacher Education Institute, operated through the College of Education, offers a teacher-credentialing program in the Elk Grove Unified School District near Sacramento.
Building for the Future
The campus master plan, approved by the California State University Board of Trustees in 2007, supports SF State's vision to become "the nation's preeminent public urban university." The plan establishes a long-term vision for the physical environment and identifies improvements to occur through 2020. Improvements focus on how to accommodate increased enrollment and academic initiatives, and ways to best serve the many constituents -- students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and neighbors -- who contribute to the University's success. View the master plan at www.sfsumasterplan.org
The J. Paul Leonard Library's three-year, $100 million renovation and expansion project created a modernized, seismically upgraded facility for the campus community.
The planned Mashouf Performing Arts Center will house instructional facilities for the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts. Michael Maltzan’s achitecture firm was selected to design the new building. Maltzan has extensive experience designing creative arts spaces and theatres, including the Billy Wilder Theater and Hammer Museum, both at UCLA. The award-winning architect also worked on the renowned Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles when he worked with Gehry Partners.