The reference and information phone lines at the Main Library are down. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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:
Audio and Visual Media:
The Oakland History Room has a small collection of documentaries about Oakland and recorded oral histories about Oakland neighborhoods. Partnering with the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP), administered by UC Berkeley’s California Light and Sound program, the Oakland History Room’s diverse collection of rare and original media is now available to view on the Internet Archive. The CAVPP strives to preserve all aspects of Californiana on obsolete audio, film, and videotape formats.
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.