New Location for Center for Sacramento History

CSH building
Who We Are

The Center for Sacramento History (CSH) collects, preserves, and makes accessible the region’s vast cultural heritage. A division of the City of Sacramento, CSH is jointly funded by the City and County of Sacramento and serves the community by providing access to its historical collection.

CSH Vault
Current Facilities

CSH currently stores its collections at two facilities:

· Sequoia Pacific Blvd: Primary collection storage site, plus staff offices and our Reading Room, where we serve the public through research appointments and community events.

· McClellan Park: Secondary collection storage site, located eleven miles from Sequoia Pacific.

Our Collection

CSH’s collection includes…

· Over 15 million feet of moving image film from regional television stations KCRA and KOVR and private collections that has been used in award-winning documentaries.

· An estimated 8 million photographs from the Sacramento Bee and private collections, documenting decades of local, state, and national history.

· Public records from the City and County governments dating back to 1849 – the most complete set of local government records in the state of California.

· Over 30,000 historical objects representing a wide range of communities, businesses, and individuals, such as a neon sign from the original Shakey’s Pizza parlor, clothing sold at Weinstock’s department store, and the home plate from Edmonds Field ballpark.

Each year, thousands of researchers access our materials either online or in our Reading Room. We license images and film to be used in publications and documentaries, create exhibits at local venues, and produce outreach events such as lectures and panel discussions.

Major Challenges

CSH’s facilities face the following challenges…

· Flood and Fire Risks – Sequoia Pacific is located in a known floodplain, and fires have been set next to our building by adjacent homeless camps.

· Inadequate Preservation Environment – Our facilities were not designed to house historical materials and cannot maintain the consistent temperature and humidity levels necessary for long-term preservation.

· Limited Storage Space – Both facilities are close to capacity for collections storage. Without enough storage space, CSH will be forced to stop collecting.

· Limited Public Space – CSH relies on its small multipurpose Reading Room for research, events, and exhibitions.

· Distance Between Facilities – CSH does not have enough staff to fully manage two facilities with a roundtrip driving distance of up to a half-hour between them.

· Accessibility – The Sequoia Pacific facility is in an area considered unsafe and difficult to access, making it unwelcoming to our users and visitors.

What We Need

To safeguard our irreplaceable resources and better serve our community, CSH needs a new facility with the following…

· Consolidated Storage – The new facility must be able to accommodate the entire collection and future growth in one location, with a minimum of 60,000 square feet for collections storage.

· Exhibit, Public, and Office Space – To fully provide our public services, CSH needs a minimum of 14,000 square feet for dedicated exhibit, programming, public research, and administrative space.

· Environmental Controls – The new facility must be capable of maintaining stable temperature and humidity levels.

· Increased Visibility – Ideally, the location selected will be easily accessible by the public in an attractive neighborhood with additional cultural amenities nearby.

· Safer Ground – The new facility should be secure and located further from the rivers, out of the floodplains, and away from any other sources of potential disaster (railroads, airports, etc.).

Major Impacts

A new facility will greatly expand CSH’s ability to achieve its mission. A few of the major impacts we anticipate include…

· Preserving History – CSH will be able to better care for and provide access to the precious historical resources that it holds in the public trust.

· Activating Community – CSH will become a cultural amenity and draw to any location. A new facility with exhibition and programming space will help CSH welcome learners of all backgrounds to explore their history.

· Broader Outreach – A new facility will allow us to continue to collect and document the diverse communities that call Sacramento home.

· School Programs – Students will be able to visit CSH and interact with original material, leading to better understanding of the history of their community.

· Helping Our Neighbors – By vacating the Sequoia Pacific facility, the Sacramento Police Department, which CSH currently shares a building with, will be able to double their overcrowded evidence storage.

· Continue Collecting – With room to grow, CSH can focus on collecting the varied stories of our diverse community.