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October 4, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Be a California History Scholar During Archives Month

SACRAMENTO - As California Archives Month gets under way, Secretary of State Debra Bowen is inviting Californians young and old to take part in the many events hosted by local and statewide groups that highlight our state’s historical resources.

"The state's most important historic records have been collected and preserved at the Secretary of State's office since California became a state," said Secretary Bowen, the custodian of the State Archives. "With the help of the great staff at our State Archives it's easy to be a history scholar all year long, and Archives Month is a perfect time to stop by for a peek at some of the many fascinating collections."

Since 1850, the Secretary of State's office has been home to the California State Archives, which include the complete records of the official acts of the legislative and executive branches of state government, as well as Golden State history in the form of tens of millions of documents, maps, photographs, film and audio recordings, and other treasures.

To celebrate California Archives Month, the Secretary of State’s State Archives Division will host the following events.

  • Sacramento Archives Crawl on Saturday, October 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. View rarely seen treasures and take behind-the-scenes tours of the State Archives during the second annual Sacramento Archives Crawl. Participants of the archives crawl will tour among four host institutions in Sacramento (the State Archives, State Library, Center for Sacramento History, and Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room) to view items from other northern California archives and special collections libraries and visit with both experts and enthusiasts.
  • Family History Day on Saturday, October 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to meet with professional genealogists, learn about how to research their family trees, and obtain tips for preserving cherished family documents. There will be short classes on a variety of genealogy-related topics.

Both events are free and will take place at the Secretary of State’s State Archives building at 1020 O Street in Sacramento. The California Archives Month poster and additional information is at

The State Archives hold approximately 115,000 cubic feet of records in secure, climate-controlled rooms stretching over six floors of a Sacramento building. Among the archives are:

  • Original state constitutions;
  • Spanish and Mexican land grant records;
  • Election records and political campaign items dating back to 1849;
  • Articles of incorporation for world-famous California companies such as the Central Pacific Railroad;
  • More than 400 oral histories, includeing the recollections of former Governore and President Ronald Reagan, Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr., and tax-limiting Proposition 13 proponent Paul Gann;
  • Evidence, tapes, and photographs from the Los Angeles Police Department investigation of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination;
  • 20,000 maps and arcitectural drawings;
  • 7,500 video and audio tapes; and
  • 250,000 historical photographs including prison mug books from the 1800s and snapshots of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from the 1930s.

For more information about the California State Archives collections and upcoming events, or for assistance in a historical research project, go to