The San Joaquin County Historical Society is pleased to announce that it has reached a significant milestone with its ongoing digitization project in partnership with Internet Archive, a nonprofit corporation based in San Francisco.
Completion of this stage enables visitors to the Web sites of the Society and Internet Archive to view one-of-a-kind volumes of official San Joaquin County assessors’ plat books covering the entire span of years from 1876 to 1919. (Click here for index.) Not only will this development enhance accessibility, it will also guard the originals from damaging wear and tear and help preserve them for future generations.
Each of the plat books measures approximately two feet by two feet and contains up to seventy unique maps meticulously drawn in color by public officials. Readers of the maps will find boundary lines, property owners’ names, and figures for assessed valuation and actual taxes. In addition, they will often see drawings of prominent buildings and other man-made objects, as well as geographic features such as rivers, streams, and irrigation ditches, many of which have long since disappeared.
Online availability of this material will prove useful for a wide range of potential users, such as surveyors, government officials and administrators, attorneys, property owners, historians, and genealogists.
This development marks a major milestone in a broader effort to place historic documents from the Museum online. Plans for the next, more ambitious stage, call for digitization of selected individual maps from the Museum’s collections.
Funding to support this project has come from generous San Joaquin County residents and professional historians in the Sacramento area. Readers interested in sponsoring the next stage are encouraged to contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (209-331-2055).