California Manuscripts

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Are our books and periodicals just not enough for your research? Do you need to hold the primary sources? No problem! We have about 2,000 manuscript collections covering much of California's history. These incredible records contain historic gems like letters, diaries, corporate records, and legal papers, from people like John Sutter and Caryl Chessman. You can access finding aids detailing the contents of many of our manuscript collections, on our catalog and on Online Archive of California. We also have records for our smaller collections in the California Information File II. If you have any questions about these resources, please feel free to ask.

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Cover of the 'Axe your Tax' game. Contract between Native American chief, Pulpuli, and John Sutter. Manuscript collection