California Archives and Libraries
- 1 The Online Archive of California
- 2 Statewide Collections
- 3 Regional Collections and General Genealogical Libraries
provides free public access to detailed descriptions 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 below are included in the collections.
California State Archives
National Archives—Pacific Region (Riverside)
23123 Cojaico Road
Perris, CA 92570
National Archives—Pacific Region (San Bruno)
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066-2350
California State Library
914 Capitol Mall
Sacramento, CA 95814
A helpful guide to the California State Library is Gary E. Strong and Gary F. Kurutz, Editors, Local History and Genealogical Resources of the California State Library and Its Sutro Branch. Sacramento, California: California State Library Foundation, 1983. (Family History Library book 979.4 H23c)
The Bancroft Library
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
Telephone: (510) 642-3781 Administration office (510) 642-6481 Reference desk
Fax: (510) 642-7589
The Bancroft Library has an extensive collection of California materials. Nearby Doe Library has a large collection of newspapers on Microfilm.
California Historical Society
North Baker Research LIbrary
The California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94105
Society of California Pioneers
To learn more about the history and record-keeping systems of California counties, use the 16 inventories of the county archives produced by the Historical Records Survey around 1940. The Family History Library has 13 of these inventories.
Regional Collections and General Genealogical Libraries
See each county for local collections
California Genealogical Society and Library
San Francisco and Northern California Manuscript Collections
Southern California Genealogical Society Library
Carlsbad City Library
1250 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Two helpful guides to California archives and repositories are:
Coy, Owen C. Guide to the County Archives of California. Sacramento, California: California Printing Office, 1919. (Family History Library film 962744.)
Directory of Archival and Manuscript Repositories in California. Redlands, California: Beacon Printery, 1975. (Family History Library book 979.4 J54d; film 1036038 item 3.)
California Digital Collections
You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from California in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.
Addresses on the Internet change frequently. Currently the following sites are important gateways:
A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, and state.
Cyndi's List - United States - California
A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly updated research coordination list.
The Family History Library and some Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.