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.

Disenos Collection Banner

Diseños Collection

Click here to view the Diseños Collection online.

The Diseños Collection comprises 493 hand-drawn sketch maps, or diseños, that were created from approximately 1866-1871. They were hand-copied from originals that were created from approximately 1827-1846. These are part of a larger collection that make up the Spanish and Mexican Land Grant Records that also include expedientes, or written documents regarding the grant petition, and other related documents. Each diseño includes naturally occurring boundaries such as rivers, mountains, rock outcropping, and trees as markers. Many of the diseños have labeled neighboring properties and as part of the initial land grant process all boarders were agreed upon by surrounding landowners. The diseños also show existing travel routes, locations of houses and local place names.

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 Collections

Banner for Alfred Eichler Collection

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Online Exhibits

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Allensworth Exhibit Banner

Legislative Black Caucus Exhibit Button

California Road Trip Exhibit Button

Spanning the Bay Exhibit Button

California Secretary of State Exhibit Button

Japanese Incarceration during WWll Exhibit Button




image of women's suffrage banner

Judah Map Exhibit Banner

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

California Missions Exhibit Button

Pacific Shore Age of Lincoln Exhibit Button

California State Parks Exhibit Button

William McCarthy Photograph Collection Exhibit Button




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California Witch Hunt Banner

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

California Memoirs Exhibit Button

Home Front Exhibit Button

California Digital Archives Trademarks Exhibit Button




March Fong Eu Exhibit Banner

Alfred Eichler Exhibit Button

Unite the Nation Campaign Exhibit Button

California World War 1 Exhibit Button

Whitaker and Baxter Campaigns button