Our Collections

Biographical and genealogical sources:

  • Oakland city directories, 1869-1943
  • Alameda County voter registers, 1867-1944
  • California county histories
  • Oakland birth and death certificates, 1870-1904
  • A locally generated index of personal names

Images of Oakland, Emeryville, and Piedmont

  • Photographic prints of Oakland's neighborhoods, buildings, houses, people, and industries from 1854 to the present
  • Postcards from 1900 to the present
  • Oakland Tribune yearbooks, 1911-1949
  • Published pictorial works, 1876 to the present

University of California’s Online Archive of California - includes selected images from the Oakland History Room photograph and map collections

Sources for researching Oakland's houses and other buildings, including:

  • Tax Assessor's block books for the City of Oakland proper, 1877-1925
  • A scattered set of Sanborn fire insurance maps of various periods between 1882 and 1951
  • The published portion of the Oakland Cultural Heritage Survey

Sources for the study of local history, including:

  • A locally generated subject index to articles in books and magazines
  • Newspaper clippings files
  • Indexes to 19th-century Oakland newspapers and to the Oakland Tribune beginning in 1978
  • An index to historic African-American newspapers
  • Historic documents and published materials from local government agencies and the Oakland Unified School District

Please check the library's online catalog for holdings of books and periodicals in the Oakland History Room collection. Materials in the Oakland History Room do not circulate.