California SealCalifornia History

To search Heritage Center's collection of California books and pamphlets, go to ValleyCat and under the "Everthing" drop-down menu, select "Fresno Heritage."

The Center also has vertical files about California history and here is a available list.

Finding Tools

Searchable databases:

California Digital Newspapers Collection

California Revealed (Archival material from California public libraries)

Calisphere (Primary California history sources, drawn from institutions throughout the state)

Online Archive of California (Documentary California history sources)


Lists of California history websites and links:

Libraries and Archives

Institutions listed below all have major California holdings and searchable online catalogs.


Institutions listed below all have major California research collections and searchable online catalogs.

Specialized California History Websites

African American
California African American Museum
Pacific Coast Architecture Database
Art California
California Art History
Computer History
Computer History Museum (Mountain View) Catalog
County Records
CA Genweb Archives Project
Indians and Missions
California Indian History
California Missions
Early California Population Project (searchable vital records from the California missions, 1769-1850)
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
Sherman Indian Museum
Japanese-American Interment
Fresno State Collections
The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (Berkeley) Catalog
Landmarks and Place Names
California Department of Parks and Recreation, Cultural Resources Division
California Historic Landmarks
California State Landmarks
National Register of Historic Places - California
Land Records
Bureau of Land Management, Federal Land Records
Coast Survey's Historical Map and Chart Collection
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
Historic Map Works: search for California
Sanborn Maps in the Library of Congress (California cities and towns)
Union List of Sanborn Maps (California cities and towns)
USGS Topographic Map Explorer
Los Angeles Maritime Museum
San Francisco Maritime Museum Collections Catalogs
California State Military Museum
California Geological Survey Library (Sacramento) Catalog
Mining Claims (searchable)
USGS Publications (searchable)
Motion Pictures
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Margaret Herrick Library (Beverly Hills) Catalogs
California Highways and Public Works Magazine, 1924-1967 (searchable)
California State Highways
California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento) Catalog
Caltrans Transportation Library (Sacramento) Catalog
Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum
Sherman Library and Gardens
California Department of Water Resources Library (Sacramento)
UC Riverside, Water Resources Collections and Archives (Riverside) Catalog Collections List


The Heritage Center has a number of indexes valuable to those researching local history and California/genealogical topics:

California Information File, a microfiche index of documents, photographs, published references, etc. held by the California State Library's California section

Indexes to the Fresno Bee,

  • On microcards (covering 1922-1986)
  • On standard cards (covering mostly the 1960s and 1970s)
  • Post-1986, searchable at Newsbank.
  • Note: Some items, such as obituary rosters and paid funeral notices, might not be available from this database.

San Francisco Newspaper Indexes for 1904-1980 (microfiche)

San Joaquin Valley Information Index (standard cards, covering mostly the 1960s and 1970s)

And the Fresno Genealogical Society's Obituary Index, on standard cards and containing data between 1962 and 2010.