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California Collection

The San Mateo Public Library has a large collection of California history materials with an emphasis on San Mateo and the Bay Area.

The San Mateo Main Library offers:

  • A reference book collection, the California Collection, focused on local history materials.
  • A clipping file of topics from local newspapers from the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's.
  • San Mateo City directories from the 1890's - present.
  • Historical maps of San Mateo and the surrounding area including Sanborne insurance maps.
  • Local newspapers on microfilm.

For more information, please contact us at 650-522-7818 or email e-mail

Partial list of resources in this collection

Historical Images

Online Archive of California
The Online Archive of California brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, libraries, and archives. Over 120,000 images and 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories are available. 

San Mateo Library's Photographs on the Online Archive of California
Over 200 images are available through the Online Archive of California's web site.  The collection contains both historical images of the City of San Mateo and the 101st Airborne, San Mateo's adopted sons.

Digital Photo Order Form
You may use the Digital Photo Order Form to order photographs owned by the San Mateo Public Library in the Online Archive of California.


San Mateo City Hall – 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

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