The Sacramento Room

Dive deep into Sacramento history

The Sacramento Room is a place where we collect and preserve Sacramento’s history. Our special collections are housed in the original reference room of the 1918 Carnegie City Library at Central Library.

  • Discover the city’s rich history with a diverse set of collections
  • Work with certified archivists for in-depth analysis to satisfy your curiosity or finish a project
  • Explore history from anywhere with our digital collection
   
155th Anniversary of the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad - May 25 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Join us at Central Library for a forum focusing on the Transcontinental Railroad and its 155th anniversary. Director of the California State Railroad Museum, Dr. Ty Smith, will speak to the massive undertaking that was the Transcontinental Railroad, and then Dr. Raymond Douglas Chong, the great, great grandson of a Chinese rail worker who contributed to the railroad's construction will relay the personal experiences of one of the more than 20,000 Chinese workers who did so. After a complimentary lunch, independent filmmaker and historian, Min Zhou, will share a moving trilogy of short documentaries that offer a deep dive into the Transcontinental Railroad: Crossing Donner Summit, End of the Rails, and Land of Luck.

As a joint offering of the US China Railroad Friendship Association, the California State Railroad Museum, and the Sacramento Public Library, the program is free and no registration is required to attend.

To RSVP for the complimentary lunch, please contact SPL archivist James Scott at jscott@saclibrary.org or 916-264-2795.
   
Room Access
A simple set of rules has been implemented to research the room. Review the rules and learn about photocopy and digital scan procedures. See updated hours of operation.

Digital Collections
Full and open access to digital images of photographs, periodicals, ephemera, yearbooks and directories.

Sacramento Collection
Books, periodicals, maps, ephemera, postcards and photographs documenting more than 150 years of Sacramento County’s social, cultural, religious and political history.




Special Collection
Rare books that have been removed from general circulation over the years for preservation purposes, but are of continuing value and interest. This collection contains first editions, items with notable illustrations, and many volumes that have been part of the Library collection since 1879.

Archives
Records of enduring value, including architectural blueprints, accession books, reports, scrapbooks, photographs, book catalogs, policies and procedures and public relations material chronicling Library history back to 1857. Find information on specific collections here.

Internet Archive
Take a look and listen to digitized audio and moving imagery from the Sacramento Room collection, covering everything from the Royal Chicano Air Force to the redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End to the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant to the always entertaining creations of the Sacramento Amateur Movies Makers' Club.

Digital Sanborn Maps 
Research local history with city plans and maps dating from 1867-1970. 

California Collection
Encompasses the history of the state with emphasis on Northern California. The collection features in-depth county histories, biographies of prominent figures in all aspects of California history, and information on the natural, cultural and social history of the state.

Printing and Book Arts History Collection
Depicts the history of books, including printing, binding, papermaking, type design and illustration. This collection has many examples of printing by fine presses throughout the world.

Sacramento Area Authors Collection
Includes books published by authors who have close ties to the Sacramento area.

Sacramento Musicians and Songwriters Collection
Includes published recordings by local musicians and sheet music by local composers and lyricists.

Pamphlet Files
File folders containing news clippings and short articles on hundreds of local history topics.
Have Questions?
Do I have to work with an archivist?

No. You are welcome to visit the Room during open hours. Staff are always available to point you in the right direction, photocopy materials and offer magnifying glasses, pencils, and paper.

Is the Sacramento Room always open?

The digital collection is always available, while the Sacramento Room is open throughout the week and by appointment.

What about that Lady Bird script?

It’s true. We have a copy of the script signed by the writer and filmmaker herself. You can see any time the Room is open.

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