• Out of the Vault:
    Treasures from Your California State Library

  • Out of the Vault:
    Treasures from Your California State Library

  • Out of the Vault:
    Treasures from Your California State Library

  • Out of the Vault:
    Treasures from Your California State Library

  • Out of the Vault:
    Treasures from Your California State Library

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Out of the Vault: Treasures from Your California State Library

Starting on Memorial Day weekend this year, the State Capitol Museum will be hosting a new exhibit, “Out of the Vault: Treasures from Your California State Library.” This exciting exhibit will showcase many extraordinary items from the magnificent collection of the California State Library (CSL). Visitors will have the opportunity to view rarely displayed items from these special collections of the Library. Drawing on the remarkable materials from the CSL, this exhibit will include many never-before-seen books, photographs, prints, artwork and other objects.
 
“Out of the Vault: Treasures from Your California State Library” will be open to the public from May 28, 2016 through April 23, 2017.The exhibit is open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm, (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays) and is free to the public.

General Introduction

"We feel safe in saying that there is no attraction at our State Capitol more worthy of the pride of our growing state than the State Library." – Mining & Scientific Press, January 9, 1864

From the beginning of recorded history, libraries have served as the constant companion of civilization. From clay tablets of the Middle East to the bamboo scrolls of China and the bark books of Mexico, libraries and the collections they house have helped to define and shape the cultural achievements of humanity. Likewise, for a century and a half, the California State Library has made important contributions to the Golden State's own, unique civilization.

Book collection of the South Lake Branch, Inyo County Library, c. 1910s
Book collection of the South Lake Branch, Inyo County Library, c. 1910s.

The California State Library (CSL) is the oldest continuously operated library in the American West. Originally established in 1850 as a reference library for the State Legislature, it has grown into a major collection and repository for the state. The State Library is a venerable, pioneering institution that was built by the government for the use of the people of the Golden State.

Siskiyou County library float, 1937
Siskiyou County library float, 1937.


Children reading in the Willows Library, Glenn Library, 1910s
Children reading in the Willows Library, Glenn Library, 1910s.