California Room - Local History Collection


CollectionsCalifornia Room Collections
Your resource for California & Santa Clara Valley history

Your Old HouseYour Old House
Research your San José home and property

Sanborn MapsDigital Sanborn Maps (library card required)
Covering cities in California, 1867-1970

Obituary RequestRequest an Obituary
The Santa Clara County Library District offers a free search for 3 obituaries per month.

Today's Exhibits and Events

 Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign memorabilia

Historic Political Campaign: Robert Kennedy's 1968 Presidential...

The California Room presents a special exhibit designed by California Room staff, Ralph Pearce. Revisit Senator Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign on...

Friday, November 16, 2018 - 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, Special Collections ~ California Room, 5th Floor

Local History Blog

A spoopy version of the California Room bear logo
The California Room is a Special Collection archive located on the 5th floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library It is the repository for various books, maps, scrapbooks, periodicals, and other materials related to California history. Below are highlights of some spooky-themed finds you can locate in the room which are focused around local urban legends and true crime. Books True Crime The Winchester Mystery House Urban Legends Witches Beyond Books Online Archives An original copy of a spooky Japanese folktale The Goblin Spider about a shape shifting creature that lives in a haunted temple. Beautifully illustrated and...Read more...
Close-up of Mckinley's statue in St. James Park. Photo ©Ralph M. Pearce 
I have never seen a president in person, though I have heard stories about President McKinley's speech in St. James Park , President Teddy Roosevelt planting a redwood tree in Campbell , and I have a cousin who saw John F. Kennedy speak outside the Civic Auditorium a few days before his election. About the closest I've come to seeing a president was when a motorcade of limousines and motorcycle cops drove past me in the 1980s. I learned the next day that it was Vice President Mondale . On this 50th anniversary of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's campaign speech...Read more...