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California primary sources A-C
Atascadero Historical Society
The Historical Society has 3600 photos online.
Before and After the Great Earthquake and Fire: Early Films of San Francisco, 1897-1916*
"This collection consists of twenty-six films of San Francisco from before and after the Great Earthquake and Fire, 1897-1916. Seventeen of the films depict San Francisco and its environs before the 1906 disaster. Seven films describe the great earthquake and fire. The two later films include a 1915 travelogue that shows scenes of the rebuilt city and a tour of the Panama Pacific Exposition and a 1916 propaganda film."
California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of the Early Years*
Covers years 1849-1900. Site consists of the full texts and illustrations of 190 works documenting the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts.
California Newspaper Project
The CNP catalog is the most comprehensive source of information about California newspapers. It details newspaper titles and holdings from more than 1,400 libraries, museums, historical societies and publishers' offices throughout the state. The catalog contains records for over 14,400 U.S. newspaper titles held in California repositories; close to 9,000 of these newspapers were or are published in California.
California Water Documents
"The bulletins of the California Department of Water Resources and its predecessor agencies present findings from hundreds of investigations conducted throughout the years from one end of the State to the other. The collection also contains materials pertaining to the creation and operation of the Central Valley Project, the California State Water Project, and their component units."
More than one million digitized items:photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, art works, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising and more. All material is also in the Digital Public Library of America.
Cal Poly Special Collections & Archives
Includes University history, California architectural collection, California history collections, San Luis Obispo environmental archives, and artists’ books collection. Indexed through Online Archive of California.
The Chinese in California, 1850-1925*
This collection illustrates nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California through about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials. Included are photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, excerpts from diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter.
California primary sources D-Z
All seven issues of the Dune Forum, which were edited and partially written in 1933-34 at Gavin Arthur’s Moy Mell, located on the nearby Oceano dunes.
Dust Bowl Migration Digital Archives
Transcripts of oral history interviews with 57 California residents who migrated to the San Joaquin Valley from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas between 1924 and 1939. Also includes photographs and bibliographies.
Early California Population Project
Access to California's mission registers, including baptism, marriage, and burial records of each of the California missions relating to the Indians, soldiers, and settlers of Alta California from 1769 - 1850. From the Huntington Library.
History Center of San Luis Obispo County
Images of people and events throughout San Luis Obispo County.
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Photos emphasizing the history of Los Angeles, Southern California, and California.
Los Angeles Times Photographs Collection
Features more than 5000 images that chronicle the history and growth of Los Angeles from the 1920s to 1990.
Missions of Alta California
The missions of Alta California were founded for the purpose of Christianizing the American Indian population in those vicinities. This collection presents images of 19th century records of the missions: Henry Chapman Ford's etchings (1883) and William Henry Jackson's series of albumen photographs (1885-1890).
Online Archive of California*
OAC identifies and provides access to materials such as manuscripts, photographs, and works of art held in libraries, museums, archives, and other institutions. Includes detailed finding aids; also images and many digitized texts. Includes holdings of Cal Poly SLO.
Routes and Roots: Cultivating Filipino American History on the Central Coast
Routes and Roots gathers and shares stories, photographs, and documents related to Central Coast Filipino American history.