Research Library and Archives

Open by appointment

Prescription for medicinal liquor

Prescription for medicinal liquor

Contact us at to schedule an appointment or to submit a research request. You should receive a response within 24 hours. Appointments are available 8:30am-2pm Monday-Wednesday, and Friday. Other appointment times are available by special request.

What is available at the Research Library?

In addition to our library of several thousand volumes documenting the history of San José and Santa Clara County, we offer a rich collection of personal papers, government and organizational records, maps, ephemera, architectural records, photographs and audiovisual material. Guide to the History San Jose Library & Archives Holdings.

What is an archives? How is it different from a library?

You may have questions about how to do research in archives, and what the difference is between a library and an archive. The Society of American Archivists has prepared a Guide to Effective Research for both first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives.

Research Fees, Image Rights & Reproductions

Please visit our Research Fees page for details.

Search our Collection


PastPerfect Online

Search our online catalog, which includes detailed descriptions and many scanned images of library, archives, and photographic material:

Audiovisual Materials

Visit History San Jose’s YouTube page and our Internet Archive collection for digitized audiovisual content, including KNTV Channel 11 news footage (1965-1980).

Online Archive of California

Search the Online Archive of California for guides to personal papers, government and corporate records, and photograph collections:

Other Resources

Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society

The SCCHGS is located at the City of Santa Clara Central Park Library, and has a large collection of genealogy resources along with a great historical collection available for the public’s use. Their website provides access to online indexes and genealogical research help.

Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office

If you are looking for vital records, real estate history and maps, please start at the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office, as they also hold documents from 1851 onward.

Santa Clara County Archives

The County Archives collection complements History San Jose’s holdings. Many of their databases are searchable online.

Search California Newspapers

The California Digital Newspaper Collection is a project of the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR) at the University of California, Riverside, providing keyword search of 72,729 digitized issues.

California Room at King Library

The San Jose Public Library’s California Room is a source for California and local San Jose history. Their website provides a guide to researching your old house, and access to other records including digitized Sanborn maps (library card required).

California State Archives

The State Archives holds many local government records as well as family history information such as probate, deeds, and naturalization records, military records, and mental health records from Agnews.

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