Thanks to a collaborative effort between Academic Programs and the Gerth Archives & Special Collections, the library website now offers access to scanned copies of all campus catalogs, as well as many of the schedules for General Session, Summer Session, Extended Education, and Statewide Nursing classes. The University Catalogs Collection page located in the University Archives section of the Archives website. The catalogs and schedules are key resources – for current university staff, faculty, and students, but also for alumni who often need the information about their classes and programs as they pursue their post-CSUDH educational and occupational careers.
Though often called a “course catalog,” each university catalog is actually a legal document offering lots of information about the institution during that academic period. This includes information about admissions, academic requirements, campus personnel, student organizations, and campus services. How important are catalogs? The graduation requirements in effect when a student enrolls or transfers to CSUDH are known as the Catalog Rights, and they remain in effect as long as the student continuously attends the university. In addition, the catalogs are just fun: the photographs that often pop up in them show changing fashions and styles, and over time the catalogs document the growth and change of the campus.
Class schedules are also legal documents, and exist as the statement of record for the classes offered in a given academic term. They also offer a lot of information about registration, tuition, and campus services and policies.
Hard copies of the catalogs and schedules are housed in the Archives; staff has typically received dozens of reference requests each year from alumni or campus personnel. Recently, Academic Programs helped make it possible to to have all the catalogs and the majority of the schedules scanned. The Gerth Archives & Special Collections worked with a vendor to create PDF versions of all items. Discovery & Systems Librarian Hannah Lee lent her expertise in getting the files on the CM1 server, and she created the web page that gives access to all the files.
When someone calls the Archives to get course or program information, they usually need it urgently, as it can have a great impact on their continuing education or in meeting the requirements for an important job. Thanks to a great team effort, they can now get the information immediately, 24 hours a day.