It's a land in which we often impose our dreams. This notion of vastness, . . . this notion of unknown empty spaces in which you can project then all kinds of images, all kinds of dreams and aspirations onto the land.

~ Alex Sargoza, A Land Between Rivers, 2006

Decrease Font Size
Increase Font Size

Accessing the Archives


The Fresno Historical Society Archives welcomes the use of its collections. The mission of an Archives includes two equally important components. In addition to providing access to primary source material for study and research, an Archives is a repository that is charged with the preservation of primary source materials of all kinds. This part of the mission encompasses:
  Preservation:   action taken to anticipate, prevent, stop or retard deterioration
  Conservation:  the maintenance of each item in the collection in a usable condition

The Historical Society Archives works to make accessible and preserve our collections, and we have established policies and procedures to protect our holdings for the future.




  • Researchers have access to the holdings of the Historical Society Archives by appointment only. The archivist will schedule your appointment after a research interview.
  • Appointment schedule: (Usual hours, but depending on archives staff availability)
    • Tuesday -- Thursday
    • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    • 1:30 – 4:30 pm
  • Research appointments must be made at least two weeks in advance. On a case-by-case basis, the archivist is willing to accommodate a researcher’s schedule (for example an out-of-town researcher). Please click here for directions to the Historical Society offices at Kearney Park.
  • Archival materials are retrieved by Archives staff. One of the reasons for an in-depth research interview before an appointment is to enable the Archives staff to gather all materials relevant to the researcher’s needs. Collections are stored in three locations and must be brought in to the reading room.
  • Fragile materials and unprocessed collections may not be available for research use.
  • Photocopying is subject to restrictions based on size and physical condition of the item. All duplication of materials is performed by staff.
  • Each researcher is required to fill out a Research Registration Form.
  • Please sign the Researcher Guest Book each time you visit the Archives.


Reading Room Policies


  • Currently the Historical Society has one reading room for all public research. Please note that we can only accommodate two adults. There are no children allowed in the reading room.
  • We have limited electrical outlets. Please bring battery power and any other electronic equipment you may need for your computer. Scanners, cameras, camera phones and video cameras are not allowed.
  • To protect the collections, no pens, food or drink are allowed in the reading room. If your appointment will extend into the afternoon session, please ask staff about lunch options before arriving for your appointment.
  • You will be asked to place briefcases, backpacks, coats, and any other outside gear in a designated area. Staff will provide you with a pencil and pad of paper. You may use a laptop computer with proper precautions.

Collections Policies


  • Our collections do not circulate and no materials may leave the Archives.
  • Please read and observe the Policies of the Archives. By signing the Researcher Registration form, you agree to observe these rules, which have been established to safeguard our collections.
  • Photography and scanning are not allowed.

Further Research Suggestions:

You may wish to contact the following repository. They may be able to give you further suggestions on research sources:


The Fresno County Public Library, Central Branch. 

The San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center (located on the 2nd floor)        

Fresno County Public Library

2420 Mariposa Street

Fresno, CA  93721-2285

(559) 600-6230




Obituary Requests

For obituaries from 1922 to the present, contact Reference Services of the Fresno County Library. The reference department has microfilm copies of the Fresno Bee and may be able to do a lookup. It is customary to send a small donation to the Library (about $10.00) for this service.


The Fresno County Public Library

Central Branch

Reference Department

2420 Mariposa Street

Fresno, CA  93721



Email form:

Last Updated Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 08:10 AM.