Historic Photographs
The Historic Photograph Collection includes over 2,500 contact prints, negatives, transparencies, and 35mm slides comprising diverse subjects including schools, churches, businesses, parades, valley views, theaters, street scenes, hotels, the 1906 earthquake, the Winchester House, and residents.

The majority of the images come from two photographic collections within the California Room. The first is a general collection acquired through various donors . The second is part of the Clyde Arbuckle Research Collection, purchased from the heirs of the late City Historian, Clyde Arbuckle, after his death in 1998. The bulk of both collections focuses on the history of the Bay Area, particularly San José and the Santa Clara Valley from 1870 - 1970s.

The Digital Collection

The digital collection currently includes a representative selection of historic photographs from the California Room. This is our largest digitized collection. New images are added as they are digitized. If you are interested in keeping up to date with the latest additions, you can sign up for the collection RSS Feed.

Do you recognize someone in the photographs? Do you know about one of the locations? Can you identify a piece of equipment? If you have information that you would like to share about any of the images in the collection, or if you would like information about using these images, contact the California Room.