Online Resources: California History Room

Looking for California history resources but can't visit the library just yet? We have lots of items for online researchers! Check out our pages on California State symbols and capitals, the Gold Rush and more! If you wish to use our images or other items from our collection in your work, please visit our permission to use page for further instructions. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

California Capitols

From San Jose in 1850 to its current location in Sacramento, California’s seat of government has moved several times. Learn about the many locations of the California State Capital.

California Gold Rush

This overview of the California Gold Rush, discusses the complicated history of mining in and migration to California in the 1840’s and 1850’s using primary sources from the State Library’s collections.

California Symbols

Did you know that California has a State Fish? Learn about it and other official symbols representing California’s cultural heritage and natural treasures in this comprehensive guide.

Digitized Books and Magazines

Over the course of several years, we scanned tens of thousands of our rarest books and magazines. We placed them on Internet Archive.

Digitized Images

We have loaded close to 36,000 historic images from our collections onto Calisphere. Whether you are looking for images of parades or labor strikes, we have something for you.

Digitized Manuscript Collections

The State Library’s preservation department is actively scanning collections of personal papers kept by the history section and other State Library departments. See what’s been scanned and help us transcribe the documents.

Online Exhibits

Haikus, daguerreotypes, and more, see the many exhibits put together by State Library Staff using materials from the collections, including the California History Section’s collections.

In addition to our fully online items, we have a number of resources that offer a mixture of items with full online access and records of items that have not been digitized. To help you access our un-digitized materials we offer variety of remote research options including copying services and inter-library loan services. If you have questions about any of these options please contact us.

Library Databases

Some of the resources listed in these databases are online and some are not. You can do preliminary searches here and potentially request copies from our staff.

Topical Research Guides

Need to research a topic in California History? These search aids will point you to online and in-person resources for specific topics.