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Collections & Research

Research at the Center for Sacramento History

Reading RoomCSH is open for research by appointment only. Please call (916) 808-7072 to speak with an archivist about scheduling a time to conduct your research. It is advisable to call at least a week in advance for an appointment as there are limited spaces in the reading room.

The Center does not charge fees for on-site users to conduct research; however it does charge for reproduction services and rights. For those unable to visit the reading room, staff provides one hour reference service at no cost. Any additional time is $50.00 an hour.

Please notify CSH beforehand if special accommodations are needed during your visit. A free WiFi connection is available in the reading room; however users must agree to abide by city policy (pdf) when using this resource. In order to maximize your research time, please arrive at the beginning of your appointment time. The current research times are as follows:

 Day Hours
Wednesday 4:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Thursday 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Friday 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Please note that the Center is closed during City of Sacramento observed holidays.

Upon entering the reading room, all researchers must present current photo identification and register to use the collections at the reference desk. In the process of registering, researchers agree to abide by CSH regulations, as outlined in the "Conditions of Use" (pdf) leaflet available at the reference desk. By signing the CSH registration form, researchers indicate they have read, understood, and agreed to the conditions of use as specified. All reading room activities are monitored by security cameras.

Due to the fragile and unique nature of some of the collections and their unprocessed state, some material may not be available for immediate research. Every reasonable effort will be made to provide alternative formats. Collections stored off-site have limited access, usually requiring a return appointment to view them. All requested material must have a pull slip filled out before it can be retrieved.

Reproductions and Fees

CSH staff will provide reproductions of materials, provided duplication does not violate the "Fair Use" provision of Title 17 of the United States copyright law; is not restricted by prior agreement with a donor; and can be produced without damage or any substantial risk of damage to the originals. Because the Center’s holdings vary widely in terms of rarity, condition and format, each request for reproduction will be reviewed by staff.

Click to download the current Fee Schedule (pdf). Please call (916) 808-7072 for quotes on reproduction services not covered in the Fee Schedule.

The following provisions apply to all requests for reproductions:

  • Any reproduction work is subject to a fee, payable at the time services are rendered.
  • Orders require a two week turn-around time (not including mailing time). Rush fees, if applicable, double the price.
  • No more than twenty (20) percent of a collection/printed item/publication/exhibit will be photocopied or reproduced.
  • Photocopy restrictions to printed material include brittle, unusually thin, or otherwise fragile paper; books with loose, cracked, inflexible or otherwise unstable bindings; volumes larger than 11" by 17"; unusually thick or heavy volumes; and bound newspapers.
  • All in-house copying will be done only by CSH staff or trained volunteers.
  • Scanners and digital cameras are allowed in the reading room upon staff approval only; reproduction fees apply.
  • Photo reproduction orders are subject to a Copyright Understanding agreement; payment for commercial orders permits one-time use only. Orders may require a copy negative to be produced, which will be retained by CSH.
  • Moving image orders are subject to licensing agreement; payment for orders permits one-time use only. Each order is for a minimum of 15 seconds and 1 market. All preview and master tapes remain the property of CSH and must be returned.

For information about the Center’s reproduction providers, please visit their websites:

ARC Document Solutions
Cox Black & White Lab, Inc.


Copyright has not been assigned to CSH for most private collections. All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Historian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public documents.


The preferred citation of CSH material is as follows:

Center for Sacramento History, [Collection Name], [Accession Number]

Patrons wishing to use reproductions of CSH holdings for publications, websites, exhibits, displays, moving image productions, advertisements, etc., will be required to complete a Copyright Understanding Statement (pdf) and pay all appropriate use fees. Proper citation must be given in each instance of use. CSH also requires a copy of the finished product, in all physical formats (print, CD/DVD, etc.), in which a text or image from its collections is reproduced; items should be mailed to the address listed below to the attention of the City Historian.

Center for Sacramento History
Attn: City Historian
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95811