Center for Sacramento History opens vault to public for free Archives Crawl Oct. 7

The Center for Sacramento History will open its collections vault to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 7 as part of the 13th Annual Sacramento Archives Crawl.

This free event features four locations, including the Center for Sacramento History at 551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd. This year’s theme is “Myth, Folklore & Legend.”

The Center will be highlighting collection items related to two contrasting realities in 1939 Sacramento: a grand but historically inaccurate celebration of all things “old west” versus the difficulties Sacramentans faced during the Great Depression.

“We are excited to open our doors to the public to explore Sacramento in the 1930s,” said Senior Archivist Kim Hayden at the Center for Sacramento History. “We invite the public to come visit us and see artifacts and archives from Sacramento’s history on a special behind-the-scenes tour of our collection vault.”

The Center will have an exhibit of artifacts, archival documents, and photographs from Sacramento’s 1939 Golden Empire Centennial, a summer-long celebration put on by the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of John Sutter and the “settling” of Sacramento.

Those artifacts will juxtapose with 1930s sketches of Sacramento Hoovervilles by Sacramento City College professor John B. Matthew. The sketches show the realities of depression-era Sacramento, where thousands of men, women and children lived in shantytowns on the edges of Sacramento and in substandard housing Downtown, according to officials.

The Sacramento Archives Crawl will feature historic treasures from 18 Northern California institutions at four host locations in Sacramento: Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd), Sacramento Public Library (828 I Street), California State Library (914 Capitol Mall) and California State Archives (1020 O Street).

Attendees will be given an Archives Crawl passport; get it stamped at three of four host sites and receive a set of commemorative coasters featuring images related to the myth and folklore theme. Attendees can also participate in a scavenger hunt to win gift certificates to local restaurants and stores.

Free bus transportation among host locations will be provided; free parking is available only at the Center for Sacramento History.

The event is part of American Archives Month, a nationwide celebration held each October to raise awareness of the value of archives and to recognize the archivists who bring the past to the present.

The Center for Sacramento History is open to the public for in-person research by appointment only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. and 1 to 4 p.m. Learn more at

For more information about the 13th Annual Sacramento Archives Crawl, please visit

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