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September 21, 2011

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575


Archives Month: 100th Anniversary of
Ballot Initiative, Referendum, Recall, Women's
Suffrage Highlighted at Secretary of State's Office


To kick off California Archives Month, the Secretary of State's office invites the public to view rarely seen treasures and take behind-the-scenes tours of the California State Archives during the first annual Sacramento Archives Crawl.

Marking 100 years of election reforms, a new State Archives exhibition titled The Spirit of 1911 provides insight into the pivotal Progressive Era through campaign materials, photographs, maps and other historical items. Progressive reforms approved at a statewide special election on October 10, 1911, granted women the right to vote (nine years before women won suffrage nationwide); established the ballot initiative process, which allows people to propose laws and constitutional amendments without going through the Legislature and the Governor (making California the tenth state to do so); established the referendum process, which allows people to repeal recently approved legislation; established the recall process, which allows people to remove an elected official from office; and more.

More than 20 Sacramento-area archives and special-collection libraries are part of the archives crawl – a casual five-hour "open house" that links downtown institutions within walking distance. For more details about this and other October events at the Secretary of State's office, go to

The Secretary of State's office has been home to the State Archives since 1850. As custodian of the State Archives, Secretary of State Debra Bowen maintains the complete records of official acts of the legislative and executive branches of state government, as well as many of the Golden State's historical treasures.

Saturday, October 1, 2011
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
California State Archives at the Secretary of State's Office
1020 O Street