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

Upcoming Events

The Sackamenna Kid! Sacramento's Herb Caen as a Model for Tom Boy (December 3 at noon)
Join archivist James Scott and historical novelist Shelley Blanton-Stroud for a discussion about the Sackamenna Kid: Herb Caen. We’ll dive into Caen's roots in Sacramento and the role Sacramento played in the development of his iconic voice in a sixty-year column for the San Francisco Chronicle. We'll also explore Blanton-Stroud's use of Caen as a model, in her books "Copy Boy" and "Tom Boy," for protagonist Jane Benjamin who was born of Blanton-Stroud's fascination with Caen and the one-year period between the teenage Caen's moving to San Francisco and his becoming a novelist.

Going Home: The Transcontinental Railroad and the Incredible Story of 13 Chinese Laborers Who Helped Build It (December 10 at 1 p.m.)
Join us at Central Library for an award-winning documentary by director Min Zhou about 13 Chinese workers who participated in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad and the discovery of their remains in Carlin, Nevada, in 1996. After more than two decades of archaeological excavations, research, and exhibition, it was through the efforts of the Carlin community – both private citizens and city government – that their remains were finally reburied in the Carlin City Cemetery on July 3rd, 2018. A panel discussion will follow the documentary. It will include director Min Zhou, Director of the California State Railroad Museum Ty Smith, and historian Phil Sexton.
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.

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.

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.

Contact Us