Our Team

Community Collaborations header text
Special Collection Team
The Special Collections & Archives team has adapted to operating in a constant state of change.

team members

Mario Ramirez

Phone: (323) 343-3997

Email: mario.ramirez2@calstatela.edu

Mario H. Ramirez, PHD

Head of Special Collections and Archives

Mario provides general oversight for the Special Collections and Archives unit and helps establish a collaborative direction for its future and ongoing endeavors. His work focuses on donor and faculty relations, curriculum and collection development, teaching, project management, community engagement, and fundraising. His research interests include archives, human rights, Central American Studies, critical theory, and digital cultures. Mario holds a PhD in Information Studies and a Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory from UCLA, an MS in Library and Information Science and Certificate in Archives and Records Management from Long Island University – Post, an MA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley, and a BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Azalea Camacho

Phone: (323) 343-3977

Email: azalea.camacho@calstatela.edu

Azalea Camacho, MLIS

Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Azalea oversees the operations of the Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives department, which includes archival processing, instruction, reference, public services, outreach, collection development, and maintenance. She has strengthened community partnerships and fostered student curiosity in the field by providing engaging opportunities for the campus community. She is currently a fellow of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Heritage, which aims to advance multicultural collections through innovative and inclusive curatorial practice and leadership. Her passion lies in mentorship, community archives, and public services. Azalea holds an MLIS with a concentration in Archival Studies from San Jose State University, and a BS in Communications from Cal Poly Pomona. 

Jamie Zeffer

Phone: (323) 343-3976

Email: jzeffer@calstatela.edu

Jamie Zeffery, MLIS

Digitization Project Assistant

Overseeing the creation and use of all digital archival materials, Jamie works to digitize analog collections ensuring their long-term preservation and widespread accessibility; processes requests for high-quality reproductions of materials for research, exhibits, and publications; contributes to the creation of born-digital collections by hosting workshops for the transcription and indexing of oral histories; conducts the necessary privacy, ethics, and rights evaluations to make archival materials available online. Jamie holds an MLIS from San Jose State University and a BA in Art History with a Museum Studies Certificate from Cal State San Bernardino.


When the Cal State LA University Library became part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in 1956, Room 2079 of Library South, the current location of Cal State LA Special Collections and Archives, became a depository for U.S. government publications. As a FDLP member, the University Library served the 34th U.S. Congressional District of California, and received catalog records for electronic federal publications and a few significant reference titles in print. As the University Library began to acquire special collections materials, administration officially established the Special Collections and Archives unit in the 1980s, and appointed a Special Collections and Government Documents Librarian in 1988. The department was co-managed by a Special Collections Assistant in its early decades and eventually by a newly appointed Archivist in 2008. After the librarian’s 2012 retirement, the University Library Archivist position was established.

Beginning 2013, Special Collections and Archives opened its doors and began to host primary source class sessions, curate exhibitions year round, as well as provide reference assistance and research consultations. In 2015, the unit began to expand its personnel by hiring a Digitization Projects Assistant to help initiate and oversee in-house digitization projects and reproduction services. During the summer of 2017, the space underwent the most significant renovations to date, including creating a hybrid reading room to accommodate independent study and research appointments. Following the 2018 reopening, the Coordinator position was established to manage reading room operations and public services.

In 2019, the unit welcomed two Faculty Librarians—Archivist and Special Collections Librarian and Head of Special Collections and Archives. The Archivist and Special Collections Librarian is tasked with overseeing the acquisition, preservation and rehousing of all rare book, manuscript and distinctive collections; formalizing and further developing the primary source instruction program; and curating and managing library exhibitions. The Head of Special Collections provides leadership and vision for the unit, and oversees collection development, donor relations and community engagement.

Our history
The evolution of the Special Collections and Archives space, 1995-2019.