Research Policies in our Archives and Reference Library

The Museum’s research library and archives are open by appointment ONLY. Research requests and services may be met by staff on a limited basis and in the order received. Research requests can be submitted via email by clicking HERE.

The archives and material in the Reference Library are accessible to researchers who are at high school level and above, by appointment only. Materials in the library are non-circulating; however, photocopies and/or digital images of some materials may be requested subject to the policies of the Society and at the discretion of the Archivist.


Important information:

  • In-person research is by appointment ONLY based on the availability and at the discretion of the Archivist.
  • Walk-in research requests will NOT be accommodated.
  • Researchers are asked to complete a registration form and show identification upon their arrival. Please wash your hands before working with archival and library materials.
  • No food, drink, chewing gum, or water are allowed in the research room.
  • Pencils, paper, gloves, and other tools will be provided as needed. Pens are not allowed while doing research.
  • Digital cameras and cell phones may be used in the Reference Library provided that no flash is used. Use of images beyond personal research is subject to publication fees. (See Fees and Forms: Reproduction Policies.)
  • Researchers from a distance are requested to make contact with the archivist by e-mail, telephone, or postal service. Research that requires more than forty-five minutes will be billed at the rate of twenty-five dollars per hour, prepaid, plus any applicable copy expenses, service fees, and mailing charges.

Research Tools

Online Archive of California: free public access to collection finding aids from over 200 contributing institutions in California, including the San Joaquin County Historical Society

The following were digitized and made available through Internet Archive:
SJC Assessors’ Plat Books
SJC Swampland and Reclamation District Maps and Drawings

Photographs and records of the University of California Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin County have been digitized by the UC-Merced Cooperative Extension Project.

Oral histories from San Joaquin County are available through California Revealed, a California State Library initiative to help California public libraries and other institutions to tell the state’s history.

Other Useful Research Sites

San Joaquin Genealogical Society: links to genealogical and historical  information pertaining to San Joaquin County, including obituaries, newspapers, ethnic heritage, and much more

California Digital Newspaper Collection: a project of UC-Riverside, providing free digital access to select 19th and 20th-century newspapers

Calisphere: a project of the University of California providing preservation, digitization, and free access to digitized collections of historically significant artifacts

Internet Archive: free non-profit library of millions of books and other media; requires account and password to download material