California Images

Do you love looking at pictures? You’ve come to the right place! Our massive pictorial collection contains everything from daguerreotypes to color photos. We have postcards, letter-sheets, lithographs, stereographs and paintings as well as collections by famous California photographers like Carleton Watkins, William Fletcher and others. Although most of our vast collection is not yet online, you can find some excellent examples of it on Calisphere and in our catalog. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

More Images

Not finding what you need? Don’t give up! The online catalog identifies only a portion of our pictorial collection. Another portion is identified by a card catalog available in the California History Room. You can obtain a fuller idea of our holdings by checking our consulting with one of our librarians.

Remote Access

You can see digital copies of some of our images on Calisphere, our online catalog and in the California Information File II. If you aren’t finding what you want, please email us with your questions.


We permit no-flash photography of these materials and can arrange for copies of many of our pictorial resources.

  Photograph News

Sepia photo of a man with a mustache wearing a hat and suit. Sepia photo of Half Dome in background, Merced River in foreground. Collage of images: photo of a man in hat and suit, photo of a man and woman standing beside a mining sluice, a drawing of Abraham Lincoln, and a color photograph of a long bridge over wetlands.