Tours of the Historic State Library Building

Gillis Hall, California State Library

Welcome to the California State Library in the historic Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building.

The State Library, older than the state itself, began with several books donated on December 22, 1849 by Colonel J.D. Stevenson. Colonel Stevenson presented the books to the State Legislature in San José to establish a state library. California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming the 31st state in the nation.

The State Library’s location changed several times before it found a permanent home in the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building, which was completed in 1928. Recent renovations of the building have brought it back to its original splendor.

Fragment of the mural in the Memorial Vestibule, California State Library Fragment of the ceiling in the Circulation Foom, California State Library Memorial Vestibule, California State Library Ceiling in the Memorial Vestibule, California State Library Elevated bronze statue by Edward Field Sanford, Jr., flank side of the Circulation and Catalog Room. This male figure is called Wisdom.

Tours

Docent-led Tours

The State Library is not conducting tours at this time. All State Library locations are closed to the public in response to recommendations made by the California Department of Public Health and as a precaution to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Self-guided Tours

Tour Brochure

All State Library locations are currently closed to the public in response to recommendations made by the California Department of Public Health and as a precaution to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Please enjoy our brochure, which provides a history of the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building and its architectural features (PDF).

Virtual Tours

Experience the State Library in 360°. View every part of this architectural gem, from its ornate ceilings and marble columns to the paintings and murals.

You can also check out the Historic Library and Courts Building: An Architectural Treasure, which focuses on historical photographs and contemporary images of the library and its architectural features.

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