Difference between revisions of "California Archives and Libraries"

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[California]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Archives and Libraries'''  
''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[California]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Archives and Libraries'''  
These archives, libraries, societies, and museums house sources and indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in California.
=== National  ===
=== National  ===

Revision as of 19:18, 10 November 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png California Gotoarrow.png Archives and Libraries

These archives, libraries, societies, and museums house sources and indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in California.


National Archives Pacific Region (Riverside)
23123 Cojaico Road
Perris, CA 92570
Telephone: 951-956-2000
Fax: 951-956-2029
Internet: http://www.archives.gov/pacific/riverside/

Has records of southern California, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. California Indian enrollments, Asian immigrants, naturalizations, land records, Arizona taxes, sailors, all U.S. censuses, military post returns, Five Civilized Tribes, Revolutionary War, Civil War records, passenger arrival lists, Mexican and Canadian border crossings, passport applications.[1] [2]

National Archives Pacific Region (San Francisco)
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066-2350
Telephone: 650-238-3501
Fax: 650-238-3510
E-Mail: sanbruno.archives@nara.gov

Has records of California (north and central), Nevada (except Clark County), Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands, overseas Pacific naval bases, Asian-Pacific immigration, American Indians, and all U.S. censuses, Revolutionary War service records, bounty land warrants, and naturalizations, naturalization indexes for San Francisco, Honolulu, and Reno.[3] [4]

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Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Telephone: 510-642-6481 Reference desk
Fax: 510-642-7589
Website: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/info/

Premier Western Americana, and Latin Americana collections, including Native Americans, Spanish encounter and colonial settlement, exploration of western America, maps and atlases, the Mexican War, westward migration, the Gold Rush, mining, land surveys, religious and Utopian communities, and ethnic communities. This library has more about western North America than any other site.[5] [6]
Nearby Doe Library has a large collection of newspapers on microfilm.


California State Library
914 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
Mailing address:
P. O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
Telephone: 916-654-0261
Fax: 916-654-0241
E-Mail: cslsirc@library.ca.gov
Internet: http://www.library.ca.gov/

California historical newspapers, largest genealogical index, statewide births and deaths, death index 1905-1995, marriage index 1949-1986, censuses, great registers, city directories, genealogical periodicals.[6] [7] A helpful guide to the California State Library is:

  • Gary E. Strong and Gary F. Kurutz, Editors, Local History and Genealogy Resources of the California State Library and Its Sutro Branch (Sacramento, Calif.: California State Library Foundation, 1983). At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 979.4 H23c.

SFSU Campus OverView JPL Library Nov2012.JPG
Sutro Library  (5th and 6th floors)
J. Paul Leonard Library, Rm. 610
San Francisco State University
1630 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco 94132
Telephone: 415-469-6100
Fax: 415-469-6172
E-mail: sutro@library.ca.gov
Internet: Sutro Library

The  place in northern California for genealogy research. Has an excellent collection of censuses, books, and periodicals for most states, including Great Registers, city directories, DAR California records, California death index 1905-1995, and marriage index 1949-1986.[6] [7]

California State Archives
1020 "O" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: 916-653-7715
Fax: 916-653-7363
E-Mail: ArchivesWeb@ss.ca.gov
Internet: http://www.ss.ca.gov/archives/archives_e.htm

Censuses, California county records 1850-1987, mental health records, military records, prison records, Supreme and appealate court records, and school reports.[8]

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California Historical Society
North Baker Research Library
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94105
Telephone: 415-357-1848
Fax: 415-357-1850
Website: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/

California economic, social, political, and cultural heritage, including 50,000 books, and 500,000 photos. State, county, and local histories, early California immigrants' overland and sea diaries and letters, ethnic histories, Mexican California early fort, presidio, and mission life, Mexican War, Gold Rush diaries and guidebooks, logging, mining, rare books, and women.[6] [9]

Society of California Pioneers Library
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA 94107-1272
Telephone: 415-957-1849
Fax: 415-957-9858
E-Mail: info@californiapioneers.org
Internet: http://www.californiapioneers.org/

Please telephone for an appointment to use the reading room. Collection has Spanish and Mexican eras materials, pioneer travels overland and around the Horn, the Gold Rush and later mining ventures, urbanization and the construction of the railroads, 1906 earthquake, biographical information and county files and indexes on early pioneers and notables, local histories, directories, diaries, papers, maps, newspapers, periodicals and California history to 1900.[6] [10]

State Lands Commission
100 Howe Avenue. Suite 100 South
Sacramento CA 95825-8202
Telephone: 916-574-1900
Fax: 916-574-1810
Internet: California State Lands Commission

Land surveys, titles, property boundaries, school lands, maps and plats, Mexican land and rancho grants.[6]


California Genealogical Society and Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612-3031
Telephone: 510-663-1358
Fax: 510-663-1596
Website: http://californiaancestors.org/ 
Blog: http://blog.californiaancestors.org/

California Names Index  with 350,000 entries from state, county, and local sources; genealogy collections for California and whole USA, but focused on San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including California vital records, pre-1906 San Francisco births, marriages and deaths, manuscripts, newspapers, obituaries, cemeteries, funeral home records, selected natualization and passenger arrival lists.[6] [11]

Carlsbad City Library
1250 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Telephone: 760-434-2931
Internet: http://www.carlsbadlibrary.org

One of the largest genealogy collections in southern California including programs by the North San Diego Genealogical Society. City directories, county histories, atlases, state censuses, and computer database subscriptions.[12]

Fresno City and County Historical Society Archives
7160 West Kearney Boulevard
Fresno, California 93706
Telephone: 559-441-0862
E-mail: FrHistSoc@aol.com
Internet: http://www.valleyhistory.org/

By appointment only. Central Valley early farmers index, biographies, manuscripts, photos, oral histories, newspaper clippings, and school yearbooks.[6] [13]

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Huntington Beach Central Library
7111 Talbert Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Telephone: 714-842-4481 x5549
E-mail: library@hbpl.org
Internet: Genealogy Resources

Includes 19,000 books, periodicals, and microfilms of the Orange County Genealogical Society, and online genealogy databases including HeritageQuest.[6] [14]

Immigrant Genealogical Society Library
1310-B W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91506
Telephone: 818-848-3122
Fax: 818-716-6300
E-mail: lural@juno.com
Internet: The Immigrant Genealogical Society Homepage

Largest genealogical collection for German immigrants  except for Salt Lake City. About half of the library holdings cover German speaking areas of Europe, and half cover America.[6] [15]

Long Beach Public Library
101 Pacific Ave.
Long Beach CA 90822
Telephone: 562-570-7500
Fax: 562-570-7408
E-mail: LBPL_comments@lbpl.org
Internet: Long Beach Public Library

California, rancho and Mexican era history, computer indexes to statewide records, Great Registers, military records, miners, and early settlers, Long Beach obituary searches, Long Beach History Index, Long Beach newspapers, Ancestry.com, African Americans, American Indians, and published genealogies.[6] [16] [17]

Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Telephone: 213-228-7000
Fax: 213-228-7069
E-mail:Contact form
Internet: Genealogy at the Los Angeles Public Library

The  place for research in Southern California. Good genealogy collection and biographical indexes. Key online database subscriptions, censuses, vital records indexes, 10,000 family histories, 5,000 U.S. city directory microfilms, heraldry, how-to guides, selected passenger arrivals including San Pedro/Wilmington/Los Angeles for 1907-1948, local histories, maps, military records, newspapers, obituaries, and periodicals. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[6] [18]

Los Angeles FamilySearch Library
10741 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90025
Telephone: 310-474-9990
E-mail: lafhlcontact@gmail.com

One of the largest Family History Centers in America, including 86 public computers, 56,000 microfilms, 40,000 microfiche and 6,000 books. Censuses, vital records from many states, genealogies, and histories, immigration, natualizations, passenger arrivals, with especially strong United States and British collections. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[6] [19]

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Telephone: 213-763-DINO
E-mail: members@nhm.org
Internet: http://www.nhm.org/site/

Western Americana, California Indians, pre-1900 southern California newspapers, southern California and Los Angeles history, Spanish and Mexican period history, seafarers, including manuscripts, books, maps, and photos.[6] [20]

County of Los Angeles Public Libraries

California history, culture, and ethnic studies[6] [21] such as:

Napa Valley Genealogical Society Library
1701 Menlo Avenue
Napa, California 94558
Telephone: 707-252-2252
E-mail: napagen@earthlink.net
Internet: Research Library

Good genealogy collection with emphasis on New England, including family histories, vital records, atlases and maps, Napa County marriage, census, voter, church, and cemetery records, Hartford Times index, American State Papers, a manuscripts room, and computers. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[6] [22]

OaklandExterior Detail.jpg
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, California
Telephone: 510-531-3905
E-mail: fhcoakland@gmail.com

Over 9,000 books, periodicals, family histories, county and local histories, city directories, plus over 37,000 reels of microfilm and 9,000 microfiche containing millions of local vital records and censuses from all over the world. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[6]

Sons of the Revolution Library
600 South Central Ave.
Glendale, California 91204
Telephone: 818-240-1775
Internet: http://www.srcalifornia.com/

25,000 titles regarding Colonial and early American military records and battle histories, family genealogies, U.S. censuses, local histories, and vital records for the entire USA, some records for Canada and Britain, and early California.[6] [23]

Southern California Genealogical Society Library
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, CA. 91504
Telephone: 818-843-7247
Fax: 818-843-7262
Internet: http://www.scgsgenealogy.com
Blog: http://scgsgenealogy.blogspot.com/

Five public computers, family histories, and books about every state. Alabama Records, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Pennsylvania Archives, Michigan Pioneer collection, French-Canadian Heritage Society of California collection (Tanguay, Red Drouin, Blue Drouin, PRDH, Loiselle), German Genealogical Society of America collection, Genealogical Society of Hispanic America collection, Los Angeles City Historical Society collection, Cornwall England collection, Massachusetts town vital records, Connecticut Barbour Collection, Filby's passenger lists, Boston Transcripts (early Boston newspaper genealogical column), Joseph Brown Turner collection of northeastern states and New England, California Death and Marriage Indexes. Can order microfilms from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.[6] [24]

Tuolumne County Genealogical Society Library
158 West Bradford Ave
Sonora, CA 95370
Telephone: 209-532-1317
E-mail: tcgsonline@yahoo.com
Internet: http://www.tcgsonline.org/

Emphasis is on the Gold Rush district, including the "Gone West Index" of early miners and California settlers, photos, church records, cemetery records, vital records, voter registrations, censuses, over 1000 books about all states and some nations, family histories, school yearbooks, and some periodicals.[6] [25]

Online Records

The Online Archives of California provides free Internet access to detailed descriptions (collection guides) of primary resource collections maintained by more than 200 contributing institutions including libraries, special collections, archives, historical societies, and museums throughout California and collections maintained by the 10 University of California (UC) campuses. Many of the repositories listed above are included in the collections.

Hand and keyboard.jpg California
Online Records

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.


Two helpful guides to California archives and repositories are:


  1. Welcome to the National Archives at Riverside in National Archives (accessed 30 October 2013).
  2. Genealogy Research in Riverside in National Archives (accessed 30 October 2013).
  3. The National Archives at San Francisco in National Archives (accessed 29 October 2013).
  4. Genealogy Research in National Archives (accessed 29 October 2013).
  5. Collections in The Bancroft Library Internet site (accessed 26 October 2013).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 19 and 21. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  7. 7.0 7.1 California Genealogy Resources in California State Library (accessed 8 November 2013).
  8. Family History Resources in Collections - California State Archives (accessed 8 November 2013).
  9. Collection Overview in California Historical Society (accessed 9 November 2013).
  10. Library and Special Collections in Society of California Pioneers (accessed 9 November 2013).
  11. Research in California Genealogy Society and Library (accessed 9 November 2013).
  12. Genealogy in City of Carlsbad, California (accessed 8 November 2013).
  13. Collections in Fresno Historical Society (accessed 9 November 2013).
  14. Genealogy Resources in Huntington Beach Public Library (accessed 9 November 2013).
  15. Homepage in The Immigrant Genealogical Society (accessed 9 November 2013).
  16. Research Location - Long Beach Public Library in Association of Professional Genealogists (blog) (accessed 9 November 2013).
  17. Obituary Requests in Long Beach Public Library Website (accessed 9 November 2013).
  18. Genealogy in Los Angeles Public Library (accessed 9 November 2013).
  19. Genealogy Research at the Los Angeles FamilySearch Library (Internet site) (accessed 9 November 2013).
  20. History Collections in Natural History Museum Los Angeles County (accessed 9 November 2013).
  21. Hours and Locations in County of Los Angeles Public Library (accessed 9 November 2013).
  22. Research Library in Napa Valley Genealogical Society (accessed 9 November 2013).
  23. Sons of the Revolution Internet site (accessed 10 November 2013).
  24. Library Collection Highlights in Southern California Genealogy Society and Family Research Library (accessed 10 November 2013).
  25. Tuolumne County Genealogical Society Home in Tuolumne County Genealogical Society (accessed 10 November 2013).