California Genealogy Resources

Portrait of Adolph Sutro, 1886. Monument to Bigler erected by the state in a cemetery in Sacramento. A journal documenting the Curtis' trip around Cape Horn begins on Dec. 8, 1850 African American Miner Working a Long Tom, c. 1852

The California State Library houses a treasure trove of genealogical information including biographies, census data, obituaries and even portraits! Our vast collections of rare genealogy publications, city directories and unique indexes make this library a must-stop for any genealogist.

The California History Section provides specialized California genealogy resources such as:

The Sutro Library houses the majority of our non-California genealogy resources including:

  • 18,000 telephone and city directories
  • 4,000 family histories
  • Tax, voting, and property records
  • Military and business registries
  • Genealogy, historical, and lineage society publications
  • City & County Histories

All of our branches provide in-house access to a number of databases including genealogy databases.

The California State Library is happy to offer advice on researching family history but we lack the staff resources to provide private family research services. If you are working remotely, we would be delighted to help you access materials through inter-library loan or provide a list of private researchers. Please feel free to ask us a question or visit the library.