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Calisphere soars past two million digital primary resource items!

We are delighted to announce that Calisphere now provides access to over two million historical images, texts, recordings, and other primary resources from the state of California’s remarkable digital collections. Explore early maps of the world; photographs from historical newspapers; paintings reflecting periods of cultural significance; personal journals and diaries charting new frontiers; political posters calling for decades of social and political change; and interviews with and oral histories of the citizens of this state. Visit Calisphere to access this openly-available, statewide aggregation of digitized resources from over 300 participating institutions and delve into the stories that have shaped California throughout its history.

We would like to express our gratitude to our partner organizations throughout California–libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage organizations–for their ongoing participation in contributing content that helps shape Calisphere as a valuable public resource for teaching and learning. Learn more about the shared commitments, values, and community practices that guide us and our contributing partner organizations.

And stay tuned for additional news and updates as the breadth and depth of this statewide aggregation continues to grow.

Celebrate with us!

We’re celebrating this significant milestone with a collection of free “virtual meeting” backgrounds to share with colleagues, students, researchers, and friends. Choose from a variety of iconic, historical, or whimsical images to set as your virtual meeting background.

People riding in a Stella Lake Stage, operated by Washburn Stage Line, Wawona, California, 1890
People riding in a Stella Lake Stage, operated by Washburn Stage Line, Wawona, California, 1890. Image courtesy: California Historical Society and University of Southern California Digital Library.
B.F. Conaway photograph of beach goers at Newport Beach, 1889
B.F. Conaway photograph of beach goers at Newport Beach, 1889. Image courtesy: California State University, Fullerton, University Archives and Special Collections.
Transportation to Inter-County Walnut Growers' Field Day, 1927-09-03
Postcard of Camping in the Redwoods, Alma, California, 1900-1910. Image courtesy: San José Public Library, California Room.
Postcard of Camping in the Redwoods, Alma, California, 1900-1910
Transportation to Inter-County Walnut Growers’ Field Day, 1927-09-03. Image courtesy: UC Merced, UC Cooperative Extension Archive.

Feel free to download the images and use them as meeting backgrounds. 

Check out our outreach tips and tools for sharing Calisphere with others, including a new embeddable video resource.

Thank you

The magnitude of this ever-growing collection was made possible by a multi-year grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services funds under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Administered in California by the State Librarian, this financial support has enabled us to explore and quickly harvest new digital collections from across the state.

We also thank California Revealed, a California State Library initiative to help California’s public libraries and local heritage groups digitize, preserve, and provide online access to archival materials (books, newspapers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more) that expand our understanding of the history of the Golden State.