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Public Records

1851-City-Charter

CSH's public records date from 1849 and provide users with the most complete set of local public documents of any archives in California. By City and County of Sacramento statute, CSH is the official repository for public records of enduring value created by city and county government, with documents transferred to CSH on an ongoing basis under city and county records retention schedules.

These records document more than 80 city and county departments, divisions, and offices, and include the full range of media - from paper and ledger books, to digital databases and computer discs. 

CIty of Sacramento REcords

  • City charters
  • City council minutes, ordinances and resolutions
  • City clerk records (including staff reports, agenda packets, agreements, bids and contracts)
  • Papers of former mayors and council members
  • City assessor map and roll books
  • Planning and building records
  • Parks and recreation records
  • Housing and redevelopment records
  • Police and fire records
  • Utilities, transportation, and public works records
  • City of North Sacramento records before its annexation

SACRAMENTO County Records

  • Board of supervisors minutes, ordinances, and resolutions
  • County assessor map and roll books
  • Clerk/Recorder filings for property transaction (including deeds, homesteads, and mortgages) and articles of incorporation
  • Grand jury reports
  • Coroner records
  • Registrar of voters records
  • Planning and building records
  • Parks and recreation records
  • Sheriff's records
  • Utilities, transportation, and public works records

Court Records

  • Nearly complete civil and criminal court case files from the earliest "Court of First Instance" to the modern Superior Court
  • Naturalization certificates and declarations of intent
  • Probate case files

Collection access & Guides

Below are guides to searching and accessing the public records collections at CSH, including finding aids, indices, and databases.  CSH also has a number of records digitized and searchable online.  This is not an exhaustive list and represents only a small sampling of the public documents held at CSH. Please contact the Government Records Archivist if you have additional questions.

For brief overview of the public document holdings at the Center, please see For the Record: A Catalog of the Public Records, City of Sacramento 1849-1982 & Sacramento County, 1848-1982.

Online Records

Archive.org hosts a number of CSH's digitized city and county records.

City of Sacramento assessor map books, 1850-1899

These map books of the City of Sacramento show property lines and ownership in the central city grid, with most books also including the blocks north of A Street and various tracts and additions. Some also show Central Pacific Railroad land. The maps were created by the assessors’ offices of both the City and the County of Sacramento. More dates are in the process of being added.

City of Sacramento, Sacramento Police Department mug books, 1860-1949

Created by the Sacramento Police Department, this collection includes general mug books; mug books specific to crime, gender, ethnicity, and International Workers of the World affiliation (includes index); wanted books; and mug books copied by SPD from San Quentin State Prison, Folsom State Prison, and police departments in the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, Denver, Portland, Stockton, and Reno. A searchable index of names covering 1860-1926 is also available.

Sacramento County assessor map books, 1870-1899

These map books show property lines and ownership throughout Sacramento County, including Folsom, Galt, Florin, Elk Grove, Isleton, Town of Sutter, and Antelope. The maps were created by the Sacramento County Assessor’s Office. More dates are in the process of being added. 

Sacramento County survey map books, ca. 1850-1945

These Sacramento County Recorder’s Office survey maps show a wide range of areas throughout the county, including towns and cities, subdivisions, ranches, swampland, personal and commercial property and tracts, railroad lines, the City of Sacramento, and areas that were later annexed into the City of Sacramento. 

 

Sacramento County, Sheriff’s Department mug books, 1873-1924

 This collection contains wanted and mug books created by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. Most include a searchable index of names.

Finding Aids

For the Record: A Catalog of the Public Records, City of Sacramento 1849-1982 & Sacramento County, 1848-1982

A brief overview of the public documents holdings at CSH.

Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency

Downtown Development, Delta King (pdf)

This collection is related to the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency’s creation of a master plan for the riverfront area of Old Sacramento, with emphasis on how the Delta King could contribute to the economy and become solvent. Included are recommendations for land use, building areas, layout of open space, art, recreation, services (shops, hotel, eateries), parking, marine access, and pedestrian access.

Downtown Development, Hyatt Regency Hotel (pdf)

This collection contains material related to the purchase of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located at 1209 L Street in Sacramento, by Mutual of New York Real Estate Investment Management. It contains correspondence, reports, and financial and performance analyses.

Downtown Development, Performing Arts Center (pdf)

This collection is related to the planning of a performing arts center and includes administrative records, correspondence, studies, proposals, and public responses.

 

Downtown Development, Sacramento Festival of Cinema (pdf)

This collection is made up of material related to the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Housing & Redevelopment Agency’s efforts to establish the Sacramento Festival of Cinema, a film festival that was intended to spotlight Sacramento as a filmmaking destination and generate revenue for the city. Material includes planning and development records, and the financial analysis of the 1996 festival.

Gold Fever Exhibition (pdf)

This collection contains material related to the exhibit Gold Fever! The Lure and Legacy of the California Gold Rush, which was held at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium in 1999 as part of the sesquicentennial commemoration of the discovery of gold in California. The collection includes correspondence, legal documents, financial documents, tour information, staffing information, security procedures, incident reports, facilities information, promotional packets, educational materials, audio guide transcripts, exhibition photographs, and videos.

The People v. Dorothea Montalvo Puente case files (Sacramento County Superior Court criminal case #18056), 1938-2001, bulk 1982-1992

This collection comprises records from the Sacramento County Superior Court trial of Dorothea Puente, who was accused of murdering nine people, eight of whom were her boarding house tenants, between 1982 and 1988 in order to collect their government benefit checks. Seven of her victims were found buried in the yard of her rented boarding house at 1426 F Street in Sacramento. Material covers the entirety of the trial, including evidence collected during the investigation, trial exhibits, photographs and video footage of the crime scene, video footage and transcripts of suspect and witness interrogations, and appeals records.

Waters, Robbie (pdf)

The Robbie Waters Papers document the legal and civic activities of councilman Robbie Waters, who served as a representative of District 7 on the Sacramento City Council from 1994 through 2010, and backed numerous revitalization projects and community programs during his tenure

Indices & Guides

City of Sacramento

Clerks Office records database, 1921-present

 At this City of Sacramento website, you can search agenda and meeting material, ordinances, resolutions, minutes, budgets, building permits, and city policies.

 

Clerks Office Microfilm Index, 1921-2001 (pdf)

This index of microfilmed records held at CSH includes City Council, Housing Authority, Financing Authority, and Redevelopment Agency resolutions; ordinances; action minutes; agenda synopses; and index cards.

 

Sacramento City Cemetery, 1849-2000 (pdf)

This index provides information about people buried at the historic city cemetery, including name, age, death and burial dates, cause of death, location in the cemetery, and other information about the person. Also see our online, interactive plot map.

Sacramento County

County Court Civil Case Files, 1850-1879 (pdf)

CSH holds the case files of the County Court. This index provides case numbers, names of plaintiffs and defendants, actions, and dates for civil cases.

 

Court Records for Sacramento County, 1849-1968 (pdf)

This index provides a listing of the types of court records held at CSH for the County Court, District Court, Court of First Instance, Justice Court, Police Court, Probate Court, Recorders Court, Court of Sessions, Juvenile Court, and Superior Court. These records include case files, naturalization records, declarations of intent, wills, probate and estate records, grand jury reports, calendars, dockets, testimonies, fee books, tax decrees, minutes, and more. 

 

Justice Court Records, 1850-1877 (pdf)

CSH holds the case files of the Justice Court. This index provides case numbers, names of plaintiffs and defendants, actions, and dates for civil cases.

 

Separate Property of Married Women and Sole Traders, 1850-1930 (pdf)

This index includes the names of married women who owned property separate from their husbands or were sole traders, also listing their trade or property, date, and husband’s name.