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Bernal Files (SJPL California Room)

The Bernal Files are a collection of notes and materials gathered by Dr. James P. Delgado when he was researching the history of Rancho Santa Teresa in the 1970s.  The collection includes research on the Bernal and other Santa Clara County pioneering families.

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CALTRANS Right of Way Assessment 1960 - 1970 (SJPL California Room)

This collection includes Right of Way Assessments for the County of Santa Clara from 1938 through 1979, the majority are from the 1960s and 1970s. These assessments include descriptions of property, maps and photographs.

Right of Way administers the statewide program for right of way acquisition and real property management in support of Caltrans' purpose, mission, vision and goals. 

Right of...

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City of San Jose 1850-present (SJPL California Room)

The City of San José was official incorporated on March 27, 1850 by Legislative Act through Chapter 47 of the Statutes of California.

The San José Public Library holds City of San José Council Minutes, Ordinance and Resolution Records  from 1850 to 1950 dealing with maintaining public safety, health, morals, and general welfare of the people living in San José.

Also included are photographs...

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Edmonia Lewis Sculptures (SJPL California Room)

Mary Edmonia Lewis was born in 1845 or 1846. Both of her parents passed away early in her life; her Haitian father in 1847 and her mother of Native American (possibly Mississauga or Ojibwa) and African American descent two years later. She stayed with her mother’s tribe near Niagara Falls until the age of eight. Her brother, Samuel “Sunrise” W. Lewis, provided her financial support...

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Ephemera Collection (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

The term ephemera refers to anything short-lived or ephemeral, and is generally printed paper material that was meant to be thrown away. This includes printed matter such as brochures, handbills, memorabilia, pamphlets, tickets, timetables, etc. Printed ephemera often documents events that are recorded nowhere else, making them a valuable resource to...

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Fiesta de las Rosas Collection (SJPL California Room)

The Fiesta de las Rosas was an annual festival designed to highlight San Jose as a “garden city” and bring tourists into town. This collection was compiled by the Fiesta de las Rosas Committee, and consists of correspondence, fiesta guidelines, entry forms, tickets, pamphlets, etc. There arephotographs of floats, grand parade, the fiesta princess and her court, and entries for the cutest...

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Frontier Village Collection (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

Frontier Village was a western-themed amusement park which opened in 1961 and closed in 1980. It was located on approximately 30 acres of what had previously been part of the Hayes' estate on Monterey Highway in San Jose. After the park's closure, part of the land it occupied was eventually made into a city park called Edenvale Garden Park

Frontier Village was...

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Historic Books and Journals (SJPL California Room)

This collection contains journals and rare books from the California Room collections dating from 1767 to 1910.

This includes a handwritten account entitled “Scenes and Adventures of an Overland Journey to California, beginning April 10, 1852,” written by Marion W. Battey who later married Joseph Weller of Milpitas.

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Historic Map & Atlas Collection (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

The California Room has an extensive collection of over 1,000 maps from the 1870s to the 1980s. The collection includes historic maps of Santa Clara County and street maps of individual cities within the County. The collection also includes some old street and road maps for San Francisco and other cities in the San Francisco/Monterey Bay Areas. In addition to...

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Historic Photograph Collection (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

The Historic Photograph Collection includes over 2,500 contact prints, negatives, transparencies, and 35mm slides that document California and the American West. The images come from two primary photograph collections within the California Room. One is a small collection which has been acquired through donations to the California Room over the years. The second...

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Historic Postcard Collection (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

The Historic Postcard Collection includes approximately 3500 pictorial and photographic postcards of California. Of these, 600 are of San Jose. The collection spans the years 1900 to the 1960s. Subjects include historic landmarks and attractions, schools, churches, businesses, parades, valley views, theatres, street scenes, hotels, events, and commerce and...

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Pueblo of San Jose 1841-1850 (SJPL California Room)

This collection of documents represents the issues and events in and around the Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe and its adjacent mission, Santa Clara de Asis, 1841 - 1850. Many of the documents are business transactions such as bills of sale for goods and services, or contracts for the sale or lease of property. Also represented are proclamations by local authorities or petitions to local...

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San Jose City Directories (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

A City Directory lists the names of individuals living within a city along with their place of residence and occupation. Beginning with the 1911 edition, names of spouses and children over 18 were also included. In 1913, a street index was added to the City Directory. This is the feature which will be most helpful to persons researching their house since it...

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San Jose Public Library Collection (SJPL California Room)

The San Jose Public Library Collection chronicles more than a century of growth starting in 1880. The one-room “Free” San Jose Library opened in the Murphy building on what is now Post and Market Streets in 1880. Between 1882 and 1970, the library occupied five different locations until the construction of the Main Library. The branch system had its origins in the establishment of the...

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San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJPL California Room)

The San Jose Redevelopment Agency (SJRA) was a public, government organization created in 1956 by the City of San Jose to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and play in the City by creating jobs, developing affordable housing, strengthening neighborhoods, and building public facilities.

Governed by the San Jose City Council who served as the Redevelopment Agency Board, the...

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Silicon Valley Company Archive (SJPL California Room)

The collection consists of 700+ boxes of materials donated by Silicon Valley companies to San José Public Library from 1986 to 1993. The archival boxes are now located in the California Room. Company boxes may include any of the following: Advertising proofs, Annual meeting notices, Annual and quarterly reports, Backgrounders, Brochures and flyers, Catalogs, Company histories, Employment...

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Townsend Family Papers 1826-1914 (SJPL California Room)

Dr. John Townsend was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. His parents, John F. Townsend and Sarah McNamee, among the first settlers of Fayette County, arrived in America from England in the late eighteenth century. He had six siblings, Sarah, Nancy, Hannah, Matilda, William and Thomas. Dr. Townsend received his first medical degree from Lexington Medical College and later set up successful...

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Yearbooks (SJPL California Room)

Background & Physical Collection

The California Room owns yearbooks from many Santa Clara County universities, colleges, and high schools. Visit our Yearbooks page to view a list of all of the school yearbooks that can be found in the California Room.

We have a growing collection, but we are missing many volumes. Help the California Room fill in these gaps by donating copies of old and unwanted...

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