Exhibit in the Capitol

"Out of the Vault:
Treasures from your California State Library."

Snowy Owl. The Birtds of America by John James Audubon James W. Marshall signature Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas by Frederick Kohner, book cover Book of Hours. Incipiunt Hore Sancte Marie, 14th-15th century, manuscript Dr. Hartmann Schedel. Registrum Huius Operis Cronicarum et Ymagibus ab Incicio Mundi. (Nuremberg Chronicle), illustration The Temple of Flora by Robert John Thornton California's First Bartender's Guide, book cover The Celebrated Jumping Frog by Mark Twain, book cover First California Cook Book by an African American, book cover

The California State Capitol Museum recently installed a new exhibit featuring priceless treasures from the collections of the California State Library.

The State Library was founded in 1850, when California had very few cultural or educational institutions unlike the eastern states. The library's staff sought to change that by stocking the shelves with books, maps, manuscripts, photos and paintings to support the education of the state's citizens as well as the needs of its government.

Over the next 166 years, the state librarians amassed an astonishing, wide-ranging and very rare collection that includes:

  • One of the finest copies of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, the first great illustrated book
  • The magnificent Audubon's Birds of America (1827–38), called by many "the great national work"
  • A gorgeous illuminated manuscript from the late Middle Ages
  • James Marshall's hand-drawn map of the gold discovery site at Sutter's Mill
  • Doc Ball's California Surfriders (1946), the rarest and most prized book on surfing.

California's state library, as reflected in this exhibit, ranks as one of the finest state government libraries in the nation. It is open to all, free of charge.

The exhibit will run from May 28, 2016 through April 23, 2017.
The Capitol Museum is open 8 am–5 pm on weekdays and 9 am–5 pm on weekends. Admission is free.