Sara Cogan worked as a bibliographer for the Western Jewish History Center of the Judah L. Magnes Museum from 1967 through the mid-1970s. She compiled three annotated bibliographies during her tenure. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1939, Cogan attended public schools in Portland, Oregon and received a B.A. From Mills College in Oakland, California in 1960. In 1966, she received her M.L.S from UC Berkeley. She married Nathan F. Cogan and had three children. She served as reference librarian at the University of the Pacific and on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Historical Society of Oregon.
The collection consists of research materials Sara Cogan gathered during her work on the three bibliographies that she published for the Western Jewish History Center: "Pioneer Jews of the California Mother Lode, 1849-1880" (1968); "The Jews of San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area 1849-1919" (1973); and "The Jews of Los Angeles 1849-1945" (1980). In addition to Cogan's correspondence with members of the staff of the Judah L. Magnes Museum and others, the collection also has many copies of primary documents, interviews, theses, index card notes, and microfilm reels containing research materials. The bulk of the materials in the collection pertain to Cogan's research on her Los Angeles bibliography.