Center Hours and Info

About the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies

San Jose State University    
Room 590, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library      
San Jose, CA 95192 0202

Phone: (408) 808-2067                       
Fax: (408) 808-2069  



Monday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed


Founded in 1973 as the Steinbeck Research Center, the Center is now the largest Steinbeck archive in the world. In 1997, the Center was renamed the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies in honor of its founder, a professor of English at San Jose State. The Center is administered by the Director under the authority of the Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts with consultation with an Advisory Board.

User Guidelines

The Center for Steinbeck Studies is a non-circulating archive. Many of the items are unique, rare, or hard to replace. Materials may be used in our archive but no materials may be borrowed or removed from the Center.

Pencils, not pens, must be used in taking notes. Readers must not write upon, mark, or otherwise mishandle materials. Tracing is not allowed.

Readers are reminded that the right of access does not imply the right of publication. It is the responsibility of the reader to obtain permission from the holders of any copyrights or literary rights inherent in this Collection before publishing any material, including excerpts, from the Collection.

Deim Painting
Painting by Judith Deim.  This is the only known painting of Steinbeck at work, here writing Sea of Cortez in 1941.  Note how Steinbeck is holding his pencil, an adaptation to the callouses he developed on his writing hand.

The Center houses over 40 000 items - manuscripts, original letters, inscribed first editions, secondary works, film memorabilia, films, cassettes, and over 1 400 photographs. Significant manuscript collections have been donated to the Center by Elaine Steinbeck, the author's widow; Sharon Brown Bacon, stepdaughter of Steinbeck's first wife Carol; and Marlene Brody, Steinbeck's secretary in Paris in 1954. Scholars, students, and members of the community are welcome to use the collection and view the changing displays in room 590 of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. 

In addition, the Center actively promotes Steinbeck studies. The Center has published The Only Weapon is Your Work, a letter from John Steinbeck to Dennis Murphy; a Grapes of Wrath bibliography in honor of the novel's Fiftieth anniversary; and Centennial Reflections by American Writers in 2002. Each is available through the Center. Twice yearly the Center issues the only journal dedicated to John Steinbeck, Steinbeck Review , an award-winning journal which includes photographs, scholarly papers, and articles of general interest.

Throughout the academic year, the Center sponsors speakers, films and symposia. Please check our homepage for upcoming events.