Free California Digital Archives for Genealogy Part 2
is part of  Sassy Jane Genealogy‘s States on Sunday series,
providing links to free digital resources for each of the fifty states.

Part 1 featured the major resources available.
Part 2 includes institutional and small organization links.
Part 3 concludes the entries for California. The state’s resources are so numerous, it is impossible to list them all here. Researchers are advised to search for specific public library and genealogical society resources by geographic areas to find additional resources.

Access Genealogy California

[California] Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

California Digital Library

  • California Gold Rush “Most Wanted” Website
    Website for “Most Wanted (most elusive, brick wall) ancestors lost in California during the time of the Gold Rush 1840s-1880s.”

California Historical Society

California Perspectives on American History


Oakland Museum of California
Picture This: California’s Perspectives on American History features primary source images from the Oakland Museum of California’s collections that reflect the rich cultural diversity of California.

 California Ranchos

California State Library

California State University Libraries

  • Archival Collections
  • Archival Family History Collections
  • California State University Libraries – Yearbooks Chico State
    The Record began as a monthly magazine of the Chico State Normal School in March of 1896 under the title of The Normal Record, and soon became a quarterly, then in 1914, a semi-annual publication. The Record attained its recognizable “yearbook” form when it began to be published annually in 1919. When the school became Chico State College in 1922 The Normal Record became the Record. The Record was then published annually until 1970, when, due to rising costs, publication of the yearbook ceased. It was revived again in 1976 and sustained publication until 1997 when the last edition was printed.
    Dominguez Hills
    East Bay (formerly Hayward)
    This collection consists of fifteen CSU Hayward (now CSU East Bay) yearbooks (1963-1986, with gaps). From 1963-1968, the yearbook was titled Elan; from 1977-1981, it was called Horizon or Horizons; and from 1982-1984 as well as 1986, the title reverted to Elan.
    Fresno State
    Creating a yearbook was a time-honored tradition for Fresno State students from 1911 to 1991 (with a gap from 1972-1975). First titled “The Prospect” (1911-1921), then later “The Collegian” (1922-1923), and finally settling on “Campus” (1924-1991), the yearbook was a memento and memory book for the students to look back on the past academic year and to reminisce about good times. After 1970, the yearbooks became much smaller and only included the graduating class of seniors.  By 1992, the yearbooks ceased publication.
    Long Beach
    This digital collection features print issues of the CSUN campus newspaper, the Daily Sundial, from its inception as part of Valley State College in 1957 through the current year.  This is an exceptional source for understanding local and national history as experienced by the students of this academic institution.
    San Diego State
    PDFs of San Diego State yearbooks from 1902 to 1984
    San Luis Obispo
    El Rodeo, the Cal Poly yearbook, was published annually by the Associated Students from 1927 to 1980. Publication was suspended between 1943-1945 and between 1972-1976. El Rodeo was published one last time in 1990.



Center for Sacramento History

Sacramento History Online is a joint project of four Sacramento institutions to digitize and catalog over 2000 items from their collections which document agriculture and transportation in the Sacramento region from the mid 19th to early 20th century.

Contributing institutions are the California State Library’s California History Room , the California State Railroad Museum Library, the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room , and CSH. These four institutions have extensive and unique holdings in regional history materials. They collectively serve over 20,000 patrons per year, including students, historians, teachers, writers, genealogists, publishers, and the film and television producers.

Each institution selected five hundred items from their collections that document the agricultural and transportation history of the Sacramento region. Railroads, bicycles, cars, airplanes, boats, horse-drawn vehicles, tractors, and other forms of agricultural and transportation machinery are included. Photographs, maps, technical drawings, manuscripts, posters, postcards, book and periodical illustrations, and ephemera illustrate both subjects.

Digital Public Library of America

I think that’s probably enough for free California digital archives part 2 from Sassy Jane, don’t you? Next up in States on Sunday: the third and final post for free California digital archives. Check out the other states in this series here.