The Monterey Public Library collects and preserves written, visual and audible materials created by and about residents of the Monterey area, both past and present. These records are housed in a secure, climate-controlled room, and made accessible to scholars and the public for research. California History Room collections relate specifically to the geographic, cultural and social region including the Monterey Peninsula and extending from Moss Landing to Big Sur and Carmel Valley.
Identification is required to use California History Room materials, and the permanent historical materials of the California History Room may not be checked out.
Frequently Asked Questions about visiting the California History Room and Archives
The Library's archival collections contain resources of enduring historical value, often unpublished materials in a variety of formats. They include typescripts, handwritten documents, photographs, scrapbooks, news clippings and printed materials.
Each archival collection and map is included in the catalog. Archival catalog records have detailed information about historically significant collections such as the Edward F. Ricketts Papers, scrapbooks and registers, several photographic collections containing thousands of photographs, historical clipping files, and hundreds of maps.
Search the catalog for the subjects you are interested in, or click the links below. New windows will open.
The California History Room's image collections are beautiful and historically significant photographs and other documents, including works by local photographers Julian P. Graham, William Morgan, J.K. Oliver, C.W.J. Johnson, and others.
The California History Room archival cataloging and digitization project was made possible by a generous grant from the Doud Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County and matching donors.
Information about Reproduction and Use of California History Room Images
Reproduction and use of all images and documents in the Archives are subject to copyright law and Monterey Public Library policy. Use does not grant exclusive publication or exhibit rights. Exhibit or publication permission is for one-time use only.
Local History Links
- Big Sur Gazette August 1978 - March 1981
- Bruce Ariss Was Here: And Had the Time of His Life
- California History Index
- California Historical Society journal, available in the California History Room
- California State Archives
- Early land grants and other records, including those from the former capital, Monterey.
- City of Monterey Museums
- Harrison Memorial Library Local History Department
- Heritage Society of Pacific Grove
- Mayo Hayes O'Donnell Library
- Monterey County Free Libraries Local History Digital Archive
- Monterey County Herald full text from Newsbank
- Monterey County Herald Obituary Index
- Monterey County Historical Newspapers
- Monterey County Historical Society
- Monterey County Weekly archives
- Monterey State Historic Parks
- Time-Line for Historic Monterey
- A Toolkit for Planning a Community Heritage Story and Photo Collection Project
- Tracing the History of Your House (pdf)
- Biographical Index
- California Death Index 1905-1939
- California Death Index 1940-1997
- Early California Mission Registers
- Land records - Monterey County
- Monterey County USGenWeb
- Deaths and Obituaries: 1840-Present
- Obituaries: contact the Reference staff
- Recording of the April 11, 2019, webinar: Searching for Your Roots at the Library
Historical Monterey Newspapers Available Digitally
The Library’s holdings of Monterey newspapers on microfilm from 1846 – June 1964 have been digitized and are accessible online from anywhere with an Internet connection.
You can access the digitized newspapers by clicking here.
See and hear the winners of Monterey's First History Slam, originally sponsored by the Japanese American Citizen's League of Monterey Peninsula (JACL) and the National Steinbeck Center. The History Slam will be an annual event held at the Monterey Public Library, co-sponsored by the Library and JACL.