October is California Archives Month—a special 31-day showcase of the Golden State’s amazing historical treasures at the State Archives and elsewhere.
Events are scheduled throughout the month around the state to celebrate the unique and valuable historical collections in our archives, special collections, and historical societies.
Start the month by viewing some of the Archives’ rarely seen treasures and taking behind-the-scenes tours during the fifth annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Saturday, October 3.
The Archives Crawl runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on October 3 at the State Archives Building at 1020 O Street. The theme of the day is “Powered by the Past.”
Crawlers can tour the State Archives as well as the State Library, the Center for Sacramento History, and the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Central Library. They’ll be able to meet with archivists and see historic treasures from over 20 Northern California institutions on display at the different locations.
In addition, representatives from other archives and special collections libraries will be at each of the four locations to discuss their archival collections – historic photographs, rare books, artifacts – and answer questions about how to connect with local history resources.
Archives Crawl “passports” will be given to guests as they visit the host institutions. The passport provides a map of the event, special bus schedule, and information about the participating archives and special collection libraries.
Get the passport stamped at three of the four sites and receive a very cool set of limited-edition commemorative coasters featuring historical images of Sacramento fun.
The Crawl is free but pays big psychic dividends.
“Archives Month recognizes not just the work of the State Archives and its knowledgeable, professional staff but also the work of all who work to preserve historical records,” says Nancy Zimmelman Lenoil, State Archivist.
Since 1850, the State Archives has been home to the complete records of the legislative and executive branches of state government and the source for the Golden State’s history brought to life through tens of millions of documents, maps, photographs, film and audio recordings and other treasures.
The Archives contain far more than just records of the official acts of the Legislature and the executive branch. There’s an exhibit area showcasing items from the Archives collections.
Running through Summer 2016 is “To Keep, Protect, and Preserve: The Office of the Secretary of State and Essential Functions of Government” showcasing a sample of the Archives’ collection of records documenting 165 years of California’s Office of the Secretary of State. Discover some of the original functions of the Office as outlined in the Statutes of 1850, Chapter 6 (the State Archives’ birth certificate) to the duties of the modern era. The exhibit will display original items highlighting the various divisions of the office, including the Archives, Business Entities, Elections, and Political Reform. In addition, the exhibit will include information about long-serving secretaries who impacted the office in significant ways.
Among the Archives’ other collections is 400 oral histories. These interviews help bring California history to life by recollections from actual participants.
For many years, only a handful of oral histories were available on-line. More and more are now available online.
There’s the two-volume history of Alfred Alquist, the Southern Pacific yardmaster and long-time San Jose senator. Frank Newman, a justice of the state Supreme Court from 1977 to 1983, can also be accessed.
So can John FitzRandolph, a staff attorney for the constitutional revision commission from 1966 to 1968.
Under “W” is Clement Whitaker, one of the state’s public relations, campaign management pioneers who ran campaigns for the likes of Goodwin Knight some 60 years ago. Under “N,” John Nejedly, a senator from 1969 to 1980 representing Contra Costa County, who carried landmark environmental legislation.
Use a few minutes of “Crawl” time to check out the full A to Z.