Current exhibit in the lobby
"From Oxcarts to Airplanes:
the story of transportation in California."

Program cover for 16th Annual World's Premier Air Classic, Los Angeles, 1928 Eddie Rickenbacker at the wheel of his Maxwell race car, 1915 Santa Fe Trailways bus brochure, circa 1950 The First California Built Locomotive, graphic, 1866 'Days of '49, Sacramento' festival advertisement, 1922

The California State Library's latest exhibit of photos, graphics and memorabilia from its collection tells the story of the many modes of transportation used in California from pre-statehood times to the 1950s.

Stage coach and steamship tickets, ads and brochures paint a picture of Californians on the move during the mid to late 1800s. Travel by rail played a major role in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and several exhibit cases are devoted to railroads. Included are original stereoscope cards of the construction of the Central Pacific railroad and a golden "last spike" commemorating the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869.

Later, the automobile and aviation industries captured the attention of Californians. The exhibit features photos of sleek race cars and motorcycles, and a colorful drawing of the 1926 Harry Miller "Straight-eight 91" race car.

Also on view are photos from the 1912 Oakland Aviation Show, which featured top names in aviation entertainment, Lincoln Beachey, Glenn Martin and Blanche Scott, billed as the "premier aviatrix of the world." There is a stunning photo of Thomas Scott Baldwin in the first U.S. parachute jump, in Golden Gate Park in 1885, and images of dirigibles and other aerial machines.

The exhibit is curated by Gary Kurutz with assistance from Dan Flanagan, Vince Beiderbecke and Matt Bartok. The public is invited to view the exhibit at the California State Library, 900 N Street, Sacramento. Hours are 8-5 weekdays. The show is in the first and second floor lobbies and continues through June 30, 2016.

Online Exhibits

Treasures of the California State Library

“Rich, Rare, and Curious: Treasures of the California State Library, 1850–2000” was held at the Crocker Art Museum in 2000. The exhibit catalog is available as California StateLibrary Foundation Bulletin Number 67. The issue consists of 75 pages, including several full-color illustrations describing the history and special collections of library. It can be purchased from the California State Library Foundation.

Book Displays

On Display: "Sutter's Fort"

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