Minerva provides access to summary descriptions of the vast documentary treasures maintained by the California State Archives. A division of the Office of the Secretary of State, the California State Archives is responsible for the management and preservation of state government records. Within the more than 300 million items in its collections are documents from the state's first constitutional convention in 1849, land grant records of the Spanish and Mexican eras, campaign contribution statements, State Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal case files, legislative committee files, original laws, papers of many of the state's leading politicians, and large collections of photographs, maps, drawings, and audio/visual materials.

Search Minerva Online Catalog

Cataloging of the collections is ongoing so if you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at (916) 653-2246 or email the California State Archives.

Statement on Reparative Description

The California State Archives recognizes the importance of reparative archival description in ensuring our records are inclusive, respectful, and do not cause harm to those using our collections. While we continue to identify collections for descriptive remediation, research community-generated preferred terminology guides, integrate these standards into our local descriptive practices, and contextualize archival materials and historic descriptions, we recognize that we cannot, and should not, complete this work in isolation. As such, we hope the larger community will engage in this work with us; identifying issues and concerns about collection– and item–level descriptions, suggesting preferred language and helpful resources, and most importantly, opportunities for collaboration and relationship building with the communities who create, use, and are represented in the materials under our stewardship.

Please contact a collections archivist with suggestions, feedback, and questions about our work or to identify collections in need of reparative description.

How to Use Minerva

  • Select the Minerva Online Catalog link above to open the catalog in a new window.
  • Use the keyword search box to locate specific collections, which are organized by the state agency, committee, or legislator that created the records. Refer to the search tips on the bottom of the search page for guidance.
  • For additional search options, select the Advanced Search button.
  • Select a search result to see a detailed description of that collection.

To request records of a specific collection described in the catalog, contact the Archives Reference Desk at (916) 653-2246 or ArchivesWeb@sos.ca.gov.

Please be advised that you may encounter recent changes to the information provided in some of our catalog records. We are currently in the process of revising our catalog records in order to more accurately reflect our current access policies.

For more information on the images in our collections, see our Rights Statement page