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.


California State Government and Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II

During World War II, 120,000 Japanese Americans and residents of Japanese descent were incarcerated as a result of Federal Executive Order 9066. While incarceration of Japanese Americans was primarily a Federal action, the California state agencies had a significant role in the removal process. This exhibit and accompanying collection tell the story of the State’s role in this tragic miscarriage of justice, through rare photos, correspondence, speeches, and other documents that are preserved at the State Archives.

Funding for this project was provided by the California State Library’s California Civil Liberties Public Education Program Grant. This program sponsors public education to promote remembrance, understanding, and awareness of the exclusion, forced removal, and incarceration of Japanese Americans and residents of Japanese descent during World War II..

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Online Exhibits

Online Collections


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.