A person doing research on the computer

The California State Library offers a wealth of resources and information to assist your research on family history, patents, California history and law, state symbols and much more. Through its California Research Bureau, the State Library also provides nonpartisan research and expedited reference help to staff and members of the Legislature and Governor’s Office.

California History Research Guides

Our librarians have spent hundreds of hours developing research guides to help you find information and materials in our collection for specific California topics, such as railroads in California, California Native Americans, land grants, mining, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and much more.

California Research Bureau

Since 1991, the California Research Bureau has provided independent, nonpartisan, timely and confidential policy research or analysis to the Governor’s Office and Legislature. The Research Bureau’s expedited reference assistance can help inform good public policy.


To augment the collections of the California State Library, we provide access to third party online resources such as California demographic and law databases, newspaper articles, academic journals and much more. The State Library’s online resources are available to all state government officials and employees at their worksite or remotely with a State Library card, as well as to members of the general public who visit the State Library reading rooms.

State Symbols

Learn about California’s state symbols, which are set by law. While most people know the state animal is the California grizzly bear, did you know there is a state dinosaur (Augustynolophus morrisi), a state insect (California dogface butterfly), a state dance (West Coast swing) or that the state has 40 symbols?

Additional Resources

To augment its collection of information and resources, California State Library staff have selected and organized links to websites containing information on federal statistics and data, California history, local California government agencies, selected federal and state agencies, and much more.