California's first legislature, meeting in 1849–50, charged the Secretary of State to receive "…all public records, registered maps, books, papers, rolls, documents and other writings…which appertain to or are in any way connected with the political history and past administration of the government of California…" The California State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, continues to serve in the spirit of those early instructions, providing a repository for the state's permanent governmental records as well as other materials documenting California history. The California State Archives serves a wide variety of researchers whose interests range from legislative intent and public policy to genealogy and railroad history in California.
The California State Archives’ digital collection at California Revealed consists of moving images, audio recordings, text materials, and still images dating from the 1910s through the early 1990s. Among the many highlights of this expansive collection are historical public service announcements related to emergency preparedness and labor and environmental regulations; campaign advertisements created by the pioneering campaign consulting firm Whitaker and Baxter; films and videos created by the California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Corrections; recordings of the Senate’s Un-American Activities Committee; documents from political campaigns for Earl Warren and Jesse Unruh; and interviews with prominent figures such as Cesar Chavez.
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