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Contributed: pre-2006

Historical Collections on Microfilm and CD ROM

Contributed by Dan Mosier

Historical Collections on Microfilm and CD ROM. Library Microfilms, a division of Bay Microfilm, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA

Here is one that you probably won't find in the library. It's a catalog of microfilm and CD ROM products by Bay Microfilm, Inc. The Library Microfilms contain newspapers, journals, city directories, serials, periodicals, telephone directories, register of voters, US. histories, county histories, and government documents for California and other states. This is where libraries, institutions, companies, and individuals come to order their collection of microfilms.

What is really useful about this catalog is the listing of the resources that are available. California newspapers for example are arranged first by city then by the name of the newspapers, followed by the range of years available. So if you want to know if a newspaper was around in the 1860s in Downieville, CA, this would tell you. Or how about an 1856 city directory for Stockon, CA, this would tell you. Or how about a 1933 telephone directory for Vallejo, CA, this would tell you. Or how a county history for Calaveras County, CA, this would tell you. This catalog also contains films for some of the California state census records, like 1852 and 1870. Here's a sampling of other government records available in this catalog:

  • Board of Supervisors Proceedings for Lake County 1905-1918
  • The Great Register of Los Angeles County 1873-1886
  • Assessors Rolls for Fresno County 1860,
  • San Jose City Tax Roll 1853
  • Santa Cruz County Official Deeds 1850-1853
  • Index to the San Francisco City Licenses 1850-1856
  • and lots more.
Better yet, you can own any one of these films. Use the order form in the catalog to purchase them for $35 to $50 per roll and peruse through them at your leisure using the microfilm readers at your local library. I've used this catalog to answer many questions about resources in the NORCAL list.

The bad thing about this catalog is that it is not available in the libraries. The Library Microfilms catalog may be ordered by writing to the following address:

Library Microfilms
Bay Microfilms, Inc.
1115 E. Arques Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

phone: 1-800-359-FILM