California Digital Archives

Welcome to the California Digital Archives! Here you will find multiple digital resources (both collections and exhibits) and experience this dramatic step forward for the California State Archives. While just a portion of the State Archives' collection will be available online, our goal is to digitize more material and share it with the people of California and the world. Amazing photographs, colorful trademark specimens, and other original documents reveal past events. Some may shed an unflattering light on past actions but our goal is to present an accurate reflection of history. This will allow us to learn from the past and understand how it evolved into the realities of the present. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into California's history.


Alfred Eichler Collection

Like many state architects, Alfred Eichler’s name is not widely known, yet the public structures he designed in his nearly four decades in the Architecture Division of the California Department of Public Works reflect the everyday lives of many Californians – schools, hospitals, office buildings, prisons, border inspection stations, bridges, historic restoration projects, and state parks and fairgrounds. The Alfred Eichler Collection (Identification # F3274) contains 431 images, comprising architectural drawings, sketches, and watercolor paintings Eichler created from 1925-1962. Among the designs and drawings are public projects including San Quentin and Folsom Prisons, Sacramento’s Tower Bridge, state fairgrounds, Stockton and Napa state hospitals, the School for the Deaf in Berkeley, state universities and office buildings, the Benicia State Capitol restoration, the Yountville Veterans Home, and others. In addition to his architectural skills, Eichler was an accomplished artist who utilized a variety of styles and art media to create these pieces. Each one is an example of the Golden State’s efforts to address the needs of a diverse and growing population through public projects.

Decoration Image

Image of Alfred Eichler drawing with exhibit title.

Decoration image


California Audio Visual Preservation Program (CAVPP)

In partnership with 108 libraries, archives and museums, the California Preservation Program provides digitization, preservation and access services for historic California audiovisual recordings. The "California Light and Sound" collection of recordings provides "glimpses and whispers" of our state's rich audiovisual heritage.  The Project gathers best archival practices for moving image and sound preservation and establishes low-cost, practical, standards to help collecting organizations move from the analog age to the digital age. Access is provided by the Internet Archive for teaching, research and study. Storage of files for long-term preservation is provided by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project.  Click on the link below to view the 118 items from the California State Archives’ collection that the California Preservation Program has digitized as part of the CAVPP.


Online Exhibits

Civil War image in red white and blue of a soldier holding the American flag.

Civil War image in red white and blue of a soldier holding the American flag.

Online Collections