California Room Collections, A to Z

California Room Collections, A to Z

The California Room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library collects materials on California history with emphasis on the history of San José and Santa Clara Valley. Some topics covered are California ethnic groups, Gold Rush, indigenous people, missions, railroads, earthquakes of 1906 and 1989, famous Californians, overland journeys, and Spanish and Mexican California. Books and journals can be found by searching the San José Library Catalog. Please keep in mind that the California Room collection is non-circulating.

Our Digital Collections Database is available 24/7 and allows you to search and view historic images.

Please observe our Use & Handling Rules when visiting the California Room.

Aerial Photography

The aerial collection includes oblique and flyover aerials.

Anita Campos Collection

Materials relating to the San Jose chapter of the American GI Forum, a Hispanic veterans organization, compiled by Daniel and Anita Campos.

Bernal Research Files

Materials on the history of Rancho Santa Teresa and Santa Clara County pioneers, with an emphasis on the Bernal family.

Books and Journals Collection

This collection contains rare books and journals dating from 1767 to 1910. Some are available in digitized format.

Building Permits

San Jose building permits in print, digitized, and on microfilm.

Caltrans Right of Way Assessments 1960-1970

This collection includes Right of Way Assessments for the County of Santa Clara from 1938 through 1979.

Clyde Arbuckle Research Collection

Materials collected in the research for Arbuckle's "History of San José" covering the regional history of San José and Santa Clara County.

Directories, City of San Jose and Vicinity

City directories for San José, San Francisco, and others in print, on microfilm, or online, Haines Criss Cross directories, and phone books.

Edith Harvey Heron

This collection includes watercolors by local artist and art therapist, Edith Harvey Heron.
Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis

The California Room features three marble sculptures created by Edmonia Lewis: Asleep, Awake and a bust of Abraham Lincoln.


This collection includes printed paper materials including brochures, handbills, memorabilia, pamphlets, tickets, and timetables.

Ernestina Garcia Collection

Organizational materials related to Mexican American political activity in San Jose from the 1960s-1980s.

Fiesta de las Rosas Collection

This collection consists of correspondence, fiesta guidelines, entry forms, tickets, pamphlets, and more.

Frank & Mary Andrade Latino Newspaper & Achievements

This collection includes full issues of La Oferta newspaper, as well as photographs and related publications.

Frontier Village Collection

The collection comprises administrative records, photos and ephemera from San Jose's local theme park, Frontier Village.

Henry Rountree Jr. Collection

This collection describes the family history and career of Henry Rountree Jr., a Baptist minister and civil rights activist in San Jose.

Los Lupeños de San José Records

Administrative records, correspondence, clippings, ephemera, and photographs related to the Mexican dance and culture performance group.

Map and Atlas Collection

Over 1,000 maps of various kinds from the 1860s - 1980s for San Jose, Santa Clara County and other areas throughout California.

Music Collections

The California Room houses a choral music, sheet music, and stock music collection including the work of many local musicians.

Newspapers and Clippings

This collection includes clipping files, scrapbooks and microfilm of area newspapers.


The Historic Photograph Collection includes over 2,500 historical images focused on San Jose and Santa Clara County.


The collection includes approximately 3500 California postcards from 1900 to the 1960s.

Pueblo of San Jose 1841-1850

This collection includes documents about the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe and its adjacent mission, Santa Clara de Asis, 1841 - 1850.

San José City Records, 1850-1950

City of San José Council Minutes, Ordinance and Resolution Records, and photographs and records from the Office of the City Clerk.

San José Planning Division & Code Enforcement

This collection includes records from the City of San José's Planning Division and Code Enforcement Departments (PCBE).

San José Public Library

This collection chronicles more than a century of San José library history beginning in 1880.

San José Redevelopment Agency Photograph Collection

This collection includes research materials and photographs from sundry projects undertaken by the San José Redevelopment Agency (SJRA).

School Yearbooks

This collection includes yearbooks from high schools, middle schools and universities within Santa Clara County.

Silicon Valley Company Archive (1986-1993)

700+ boxes of materials donated by over 600 early Silicon Valley tech companies, documenting the evolution of the Valley’s tech industry.

Sophia Mendoza Collection

Materials relating to the personal life and political accomplishments of San José-based activist Sofia Mendoza.

Tax Rolls

A collection of Santa Clara County Tax Assessor Rolls from 1979-2007 on microfilm. The 1990-2007 tax rolls include assessor's parcel maps.

Townsend Family Papers (1826-1914)

Personal and professional documents of Dr. John Townsend, his wife Elizabeth Townsend, and their son John Henry Moses Townsend.

Weather Records

This collection includes United States Weather Bureau weather logs for 1906-1962, with entries recorded by hand.

Willow Glen Annexation

This collection includes documents pertaining to the annexation of Willow Glen.

Willows Reading and Study Club Records

This collection includes membership rosters, agendas, and other materials pertaining to the Willows Reading and Study Club.

Women on Wheels

Photographs, documents, awards and ephemera from the Bay Area chapter of Women on Wheels. The materials span the mid 1980s to the mid 2000s.
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