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Contributed: pre-2006

California Local History: A Centennial Bibliography

Contributed by Dan Mosier

California Local History: A Centennial Bibliography.
Ethel Blumann and Mabel W. Thomas, editors, Stanford University Press, 1950.

This is a bibliography of local history materials that were available in 1950 in the public libraries throughout California. It was an attempt to improve and enlarge the earlier publication by Robert E. Cowan titled "Bibliography of California History." A compilation of this sort involved the participation of individual libraries in supplying a list of the local history materials. As always, not every library contributed to the effort and from those that did there were varying degrees of contributions. For this reason, such compilations cannot be considered complete. Even so, this bibliography is a great starting point for anyone researching local history in California.

The types of materials that were accepted for this compilation included those pertaining to the history of a single county. General regional studies, periodical articles, fiction, and poetry were not included. The book was divided into counties in alphabetical order. Within each county, the materials were classified under four general headings:

  1. County histories-general histories that covered the whole county.
  2. Supplement-specific topics pertaining to the whole county, such as county schools.
  3. Directories-city and county business directories.
  4. Subdivisions-histories and specific topics for individual cities and towns arranged in alphabetical order.
Under each of the four headings, the materials were listed in alphabetical order by author. Each citation listed the author, title, place of publication, name of publisher, date of publication, contents such as illus. or ports., number of pages, and the abbreviated libraries with the material.

A researcher can use this bibliography to quickly locate the a material and its location. The author and publisher index at the back of the book is great for finding authors and publishers only. The lack of a subject index makes it difficult to locate particular sources by title, subject, or surname. Today, this book is of limited usefulness on account of its age and a few of the libraries listed are now defunct. There are updated versions of similar works listed in the NORCAL Genealogy Index.

Some California libraries that have the above item:

  • Berkeley, Berkeley Public Library, 016.9794 C1278C, ref.
  • Berkeley, University of California Berkeley Bancroft Library, Z1261 .C2 *c2 copies
  • Berkeley, University of California Berkeley Bus &Econ; Library, F861.A12 C3
  • Berkeley, University of California Berkeley Main Library, F861.A12 C3 *c2 copies
  • Cupertino, Cupertino Library, R 016.9794 Californ, ref.
  • Davis, University of California Davis Shields Library, Z1261.C35
  • Fullerton, California State University Fullerton Library, Z1261.C12 circ
  • Irvine, University of California Irvine Library, Z1261 .C12 (Inaccessible.
  • Until W97, Request ILL), Z1261 .C12 Temp SL273 SpCol Ref
  • La Jolla, University of California San Diego Library, F 861z .C22 1950 Reference
  • La Jolla, University of California San Diego Spec Coll Library, F 861z .C22 1950 Goodman, F 861z .C22 1950 West Ref
  • Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles Clark Library, ZF856 C15
  • Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles Spec Coll Library, Z 1261 C11c
  • Oakland, Oakland Main Library, 016.9794 C1285C10, ref.
  • Pomona, California State Polytechnic University Library, Z1261.C12 circ
  • Riverside, University of California Riverside Rivera Library, Z1261 .C35 Ref
  • Sacramento, California State Library, q 016.9794 C15 California Circ and Non Circ
  • San Anselmo, Graduate Theological Union SFTS, Z1261 .C34 1950 Ref
  • San Diego, San Diego State University Library, Z1261.C12 circ
  • San Francisco, California Historical Society Library, Kemble Z1261 .C10 1950
  • San Francisco, San Francisco Public Library, 16.9794 C120c
  • San Francisco, University of California San Francisco Library, Z1261 .C15c 1950 Reference Books
  • San Jose, San Jose State University Library, F861.C12x 1950 spec coll.
  • San Luis Obispo, California Polytechnic State University Library, F861.C252 1950 circ
  • Santa Barbara, University of California Santa Barbara Main Library, Z1261 .C3 Circ, Z1261 .C3 1950 Special Coll