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Home > Heritage Center > California History

California SealCalifornia History

The Heritage Center contains a large collection of books and pamphlets documenting the history of California from prehistoric times to the present. The holdings may be searched by consulting the Library's catalog, ValleyCat; any items tagged with "CalifRm/Gene" are available for use in the Room, as its collection does not circulate. There are also vertical files for California and Fresno County history available for use, arranged by subject and containing various clippings and ephemera.

Finding Tools

California Digital Library
Calisphere (Primary California historical sources, drawn from institutions throughout the state)
NORCAL Web site (list of valuable printed historical guides)
Online Archive of California
Roots-L California: Research (many helpful California history/genealogy links)

Libraries and Institutions

The Bancroft Library (University of California, Berkeley)  
California Genealogical Society and Library Catalog
California Historical Society Catalog
California Office of Historic Preservation  
California State Archives Catalog
California State Library Catalog
California State Parks, Cultural Resources Division  
Historical Society of Southern California  
The Huntington Library Catalog
Los Angeles Public Library  
San Francisco Public Library Catalog
Seaver Center (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles)  
Society of California Pioneers  
Southern California Genealogical Society  
Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research  
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Catalog
Reedley Historical Society  
University of Southern California / Regional History Catalog


Autry Museum of Western Heritage (Los Angeles)
California State Military Museum
California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento)
Haggin Museum (Stockton)
Museum of the City of San Francisco
Oakland Museum of California
San Diego Historical Museum

Online Resources

CA Genweb Archives Project

California Heritage Collection (Bancroft Library; online historical images)
California Historic Landmarks
California History Online (California Historical Society historical timeline)
California Mines and Mining Information (contains valuable index to state publications)
California State Highways, Old and New
Early California Population Project (searchable vital records from the California missions, 1769-1850)
Japanese American Internment
San Francisco Genealogy
Southern California History Links

USC Digital Archive (contains photographs, maps and manuscripts)

Historical Society Lists

Conference of California Historical Societies