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Rarely-seen historic treasures on public display for 8th Annual “Sacramento Archives Crawl” | Arts & Culture

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Rarely-seen historic treasures on public display for 8th Annual “Sacramento Archives Crawl”
Arts & Culture
Rarely-seen historic treasures on public display for 8th Annual “Sacramento Archives Crawl”

In celebration of National Archives Month, archives and special collections libraries from throughout the region will showcase their rarely-seen holdings during the 8th annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Saturday, October 6, from 10 am to 4 pm. This free event gives the public a chance to see historic treasures from 22 Northern California institutions that will be on public display for one day only at four host locations in downtown Sacramento: the California State Archives, the California State Library, the Center for Sacramento History, and the Sacramento Public Library (SPL). 


In addition to viewing archival collections and artifacts, participants can also take behind-the-scenes tours, participate in a scavenger hunt, and attend three free lectures at the SPL Tsaopoulous Library Galleria. Lectures include local historian Mary Helmich on the Central and Southern Pacific railroad shops (11:30 am); historian and archivist Amanda DeWilde on Sacramentan Amanda Preuss, who set the record for a woman traveling across the United States by car in 1916 (1 pm); and librarian James Scott on early flight in Sacramento and the roles Mather Field and Liberty Iron Works played in the American war effort during World War I (2:30 pm). 


This year’s theme, “Going Places: A Journey Through Archives,” puts the focus on transportation-related material in the institutions’ collections. A sampling of items that will be on display includes a replica of a Pony Express saddle, Pony Express ephemera, menus from drive-ins and railroad dining cars, and Hart stereographs of the transcontinental railroad (California State Library); original 1880s drawings created by Central Pacific draftsman of railroad equipment, early railroad artifacts, stuntman Lloyd Dawson’s 1950s “Bat Man” suit, plus a new photographic exhibit on Sacramento’s Central Pacific/Southern Pacific shops (Center for Sacramento History); a 1939 Sacramento sightseeing and recreation map, photographs showing commercial and recreational opportunities for boaters on the Sacramento River, and a 1930 brochure for River Auto Stages and California-Nevada Stages (Sacramento Public Library); and an 1860 Central Pacific Railroad Company pamphlet, large Eager Beaver and Honor Built Romer Trailer logos, and a drawing of a suspended monorail system by Shay and Wise. 


Representatives from other archives and special collections libraries will be on site at the host archives to discuss their archival collections — historic photographs, documents, maps, artifacts, and books — and answer questions about how to connect with local history resources and care for historical records and artifacts. The following is a list of the host locations and the repositories that will be tabling at each. Participants may start at any of the four locations:


California State Archives (1020 O Street)

El Dorado County Historical Museum

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Gold Rush Research Library

Old City Cemetery Committee

Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society Library

Society of California Archivists

Yuba County Library Local History Archives


California State Library (900 N Street) 

California Automobile Museum

California State Parks Archives

University of California, Davis, Special Collections


Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd)

Congregation B’nai Israel Archives

Placer County Archives & Research Center

Sacramento River Delta Historical Society

West Sacramento Historical Society

Yolo County Archives


Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room (828 I Street)

California State Railroad Museum Library

Cox Black and White Lab

California State University, Sacramento, Special Collections and University Archives

San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum


This year’s Crawl will once again include a History Scavenger Hunt, where students and adults can answer questions about the documents and artifacts on display at the four host locations — correctly answer ten of the clues and enter into a drawing for a chance to win an Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet or 4TB WD My Cloud personal cloud storage drive. Free Archives Crawl passports will be given to guests as they visit the first host institution of their choice. The passport provides a map of the event and information about the participating institutions. Event attendees who get their passport stamped at three of the four host sites will be given a set of limited-edition commemorative coasters. The coasters celebrate the “Going Places” theme with photographs of Sacramento areas transportation throughout the years. Free transportation between host locations will be provided via transit buses; free parking is available only at the Center for Sacramento History.


This event was made possible by financial support from the California State Library Foundation, Friends of the Yolo County Archives, the Gordon-Goldstein Foundation, the Sacramento History Alliance, the Sacramento Public Library, the Sierra Health Foundation, Soloman's Delicatessen, and Stonebridge Properties. In-kind support was provided by Ancestry.com, California State Railroad Museum Foundation, Lagunitas, Powerhouse Science Center, Sacramento Kings, and Sacramento Republic FC.


For more information about the 8th Annual Sacramento Archives Crawl, please visit www.sacarchivescrawl.com. The event is part of Archives Month, a nationwide celebration held each October to raise awareness of the value of archives and to recognize the archivists who bring the past to the present. For information about other events in California, visit www.calarchivesmonth.org

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