CSH is the official archives for the city and county of Sacramento, with public records dating back to 1849. The Center also houses personal collections, photographs, films, and objects pertaining to the social, political, geographic, and cultural history of the Sacramento region. Items in our collection are accessible for research or use in films, books, articles, and other media.

Finding aids to our collections can be found on our Online Archive of California page.

Collections Image



Government documents from the City of Sacramento and Sacramento County date back to 1849 and include civil, criminal and probate court case files; naturalization papers; assessor, recorder, and clerk records; property records; and records from the city council, county board of supervisors, coroner, law enforcement, fire department, and most other city and county departments. For a general overview of our government holdings, see For the Record. Digitized government documents can be found on our Internet Archive page. 

Four H Club - Courtland

Personal papers in our collection come from a range of individuals, families, businesses, schools, cultural institutions, and organizations, documenting life, education, business, and growth in the Sacramento region. Major collections include papers from Nathaniel Colley, the McClatchy Family, Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society, Tower Records, architects and historic preservationists, and city directories. We also have a large collection of Sacramento-related ephemera.

Finding aids can be found on our Online Archive of California page, and digitized items, like our city directories collection, can be found on our Internet Archive page.


The Center houses a large collection of moving images in film, video, and digital formats. This includes the film archives of local TV news stations KCRA-TV and KOVR-TV, which contain raw news footage and edited programs from the late 1950s into the 1980s. Other major collections include local production companies Alexander Media Services and Steve LaRosa Productions; KVIE’s Good Old Days; Harold N. Ouye family home movies; and works from multimedia artist Darrell Forney. Digitized film can be found on our Internet Archive page. Click here to learn how to license our footage for your project.


Our collections include more than seven million images in a variety of photographic types and processes, from daguerreotypes to digital images. We hold several newspapers' photo archives, including the Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee, Sacramento Observer, and Suttertown News. We are especially proud of our collections from local photographers that document Sacramento’s origins as a small riverfront town to the burgeoning state capital. More than 60,000 photographs are digitized and available for viewing on our online catalog. Click here to learn how to get reproductions of our images.


The Center has a comprehensive collection of Sacramento newspapers, from the area's first to those published today. This includes a full run of the Sacramento Bee along with its corporate and photo archives, plus issues, research files, and corporate and photo archives for the Sacramento Union, Sacramento Observer, and Suttertown News. We also have a large collection of gay newspapers found in the Allen Chamberlin LGBTQ newspaper collection and Linda Birner Mom Guess What collection. Our earliest newspapers, some of which are digitized and available on our Internet Archive page, include the Sacramento Transcript, Placer Times and TranscriptAlta California, and Gold Rush-era newspapers from all over Northern California. 


The Center has nearly 30,000 objects in its collection that document the people, businesses, cultures, and organizations of the Sacramento region. Objects includes household items, like furniture, toys, quilts, and clothing; occupational items like farm tools, office equipment, dredging machinery, and photography equipment; works of art; and other artifacts from our past, like neon signs from area businesses, an 1870s jail cell, horse-drawn carriages, printing presses, and remnants of buildings torn down during Sacramento's redevelopment projects. More than 6,000 cataloged objects can be viewed on our online catalog, and you can see information about exhibits on our Exhibits page.


The majority of maps in our collections were created by government agencies or developers and are focused on Sacramento and Sacramento County. These includes city, town, and county maps; land grants and ranchos; neighborhood, property, tract, plat, and plot maps; river and dredging maps; and road maps.

There are a small number of California-specific maps from outside the county, like fault maps, maps of the gold fields, and very early European maps that show California as an island. Nearly 1,500 maps are digitized and available on our Internet Archive page.

NBC Newscaster Howard Bailey

Our recorded sound collections include oral histories, radio broadcasts, local music recordings, and recorded public meeting minutes on a variety of media. Oral histories include the Sacramento Ethnic Communities Survey, Walerga Oral History Project, Issei Oral History ProjectNatomas residents, the American Association of University Women, and Valley Broadcast Legends. Digitized audio can be found on our Internet Archive page and videos can be found on our YouTube channel.