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Calisphere Web Site Launched

Calisphere is now available at:

Calisphere is a free public gateway to thousands of digitized primary sources – including photographs, documents, newspaper clippings, works of art – from UC museums and libraries and other cultural heritage institutions across California.  The site is a significant redesign of the web site (for background information, see the CDLINFO February 13, 2006 article at:, and has a special emphasis on serving California teachers and librarians.

Overview of Calisphere’s features

Themed Collections are primary source sets created specifically to help educators easily find images aligned with the California State Board of Education Content Standards. Currently, the Themed Collections include 30 topics organized into six historical eras, from the Gold Rush to the 1970s.

California Cultures organizes Calisphere’s images into subsets related to four historically undocumented ethnic groups (African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans).  This organization gives educators another route to access compelling images that illustrate California’s diversity.  Also included are teacher-created lesson plans, offering complete units or inspiration for educators.  California Cultures was created by 13 University of California repositories in response to H.R. 1905, which made funds available to digitize archival materials relating to the ethnic groups of California.

Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives, a separate web site accessible through Calisphere, includes more than 10,000 governmental and personal resources that illustrate the story of Japanese-American internment during World War II.

Browse A-Z is a search option tied to selected key terms in California’s History-Social Science Content Standards.  It allows educators to find even more primary source sets on specific topics for classroom use.

UC Web Sites on Calisphere

In addition to these features, more than 300 UC web sites created or maintained by UC libraries, museums, academic departments, and research units are easily accessible through Calisphere.  These sites cover a wide range of topics and provide thousands of additional primary sources and other resources for educators and students.

The web sites in the original public site were selected and cataloged by the Librarians Internet Index ( based on criteria that the CDL provided.  We are working again with LII to find new sites.

Go to the UC web sites home page to view, by campus, the sites that are currently in Calisphere:

If you would like to suggest additional sites of interest, please send an email to LII at: