Archives & Collections


If you are interested in conducting research or viewing certain parts of the collection not currently on display, please contact the Center to make an appointment well in advance.

Center staff can provide the first hour of research free of charge, after which the charge is $5 an hour.

Gaining Access to the Collection

The Archives: By appointment, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Books and artifacts cannot be loaned out of the museum.

Newspaper collection: By appointment, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This collection is not digitized and is accessed manually, page by page.

Photographs: By appointment, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Depending on the intended use of the photographs, a copyright release may have to be signed.

To make a donation or gift to the Archives please contact Deborah Silguero, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, or at

History of the Collection

The Steinbeck Archival Collection

The Collection began in the 1950s with the purchase of several Steinbeck first-edition books. The first major acquisition came in 1964, when former Salinas Californian managing editor Jack Patton presented the Salinas Library with the author’s first editions and an extensive file of Steinbeck-related newspaper and magazine articles dating from the 1930s to the 1950s.

The second major donation of items came from private collector Adrian H. Goldstone, whose Steinbeck first editions and other material have also enhanced the Collection.

Donations have been received from Steinbeck family members, including Elaine Steinbeck, Steinbeck’s widow; Steinbeck’s sisters, Elizabeth Steinbeck Ainsworth, and Esther Rodgers; and John Steinbeck’s sons, Thomas Steinbeck and John Steinbeck IV. The Collection continues to grow thanks to many generous donations by patrons from around the United States and the world.

For detailed information about our Collection, download our Collection Overview. Also available for download the Archive Book List and Archive Stage, Screen, Television and Radio Memorabilia List.