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Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Parade of States -- online digital genealogy resources -- California

Everyone would expect California to have a lot of digital resources and they would be right, to a point. In actual numbers of records, they fall way short of Washington State, but they do have some very interesting collections which I have used in researching early California families. All in all, California is long on pictures and short on actual source documents given the large population and long history of the state. There are a lot of records and indexes online on the subscription Website, Ancestry.com. Here is a sample of the free online collections:

  • The Anne T. Kent California Room (Marin County Free Library) To quote the site, "The Anne T. Kent California History Room is an archive dedicated to collecting and preserving information on local, regional, and state history with a strong emphasis on the history and culture of Marin County. Resources include books, maps, photographs, oral histories, biography files, early Marin County voter registers, clippings and ephemera."

  • Calisphere (UC Libraries) Thousands of images and primary source documents from the 19th-20th centuries.

  • Digital Anaheim (Anaheim Public Library) A digital archive of nearly 2,000 photographs of the City of Anaheim.

  • Online Archive of California A collection of resources from a large number of California institutions, way too many to list here. The list alone is longer than most of my posts. Even though the list is impressive, it turns out that most of the records are only available offline and must be searched at the California State Archives.

  • Regional Oral History Office (University of California, Berkeley) An extensive collection of oral histories by category.

  • Sacramento History Online Sacramento History Online is a joint project of four Sacramento County institutions to digitize and catalog over 2000 items from their collections. The project's goal has been to document agriculture and transportation in the Sacramento region from the mid 19th to early 20th century.

  • San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection (SF Public Library) To quote from the Website, "The San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection contains photographs and works on papers of San Francisco and California scenes ranging from 1850 to the present. This collection includes views of San Francisco street scenes, buildings, and neighborhoods, as well as photographs of famous San Francisco personalities. The collection consists mostly of the photo morgue of the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin, a daily newspaper, ranging from 1920s to 1965. The collection also contains albums, slides, postcards, cabinet cards, stereoviews, and lantern slides of San Francisco and California subjects. "

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