Archives Of The Centuries with Roberto Trujillo

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What does it take to create a library - in particular, a research library worthy of Stanford University? Robert Trujillo has been developing special collections at Stanford for more than three decades. In this interview he shares the fascinating story of how the vast literary resources we rely on are generated. Learn how he's unearthed primary source and antiquarian materials for the university's Judaic Hebraic archives and Mexican-American studies department, fifteenth-century maps of Africa, John Steinbeck's personal papers, and more. You'll even hear about how our own New Dimensions interviews became part of the Stanford archives. Mr. Trujillo tells us, "All of our collections are built with the very express intent to be of interest to a freshman doing a ten-page paper, and to support doctoral level research that would result in a dissertation and then, hopefully a university press published book." Together these collections serve as a vast public resource and record that's a treasure for us all. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Roberto Trujillo is the head of Special Collections and the Frances and Charles Field Curator of Special Collections at the Stanford University Libraries in Stanford, California. He is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his valuable contributions.

Mr. Trujillo is co-editor with Hsiao-Yun Chu of:

To learn more about the Stanford University Libraries visit

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Why many artists begin archiving their personal papers long before their work is well known
  • How you can access the resources at Stanford University's libraries
  • How much your own literary collection might be worth
  • What is the future of libraries is in this digital age
  • What are some of the interesting stories behind some of the acquisitions
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 7/31/2009      Program Number: 3315