The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour. . . . It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.

~ John McPhee, Assembling California

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Collections

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  Over 250 manuscripts are housed in the Historical Society’s Archives. Since 1919, the founding year of the Historical Society, the Society has collected the personal papers of individuals, families, businesses and organizations from Fresno...
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  DAVID JENNINGS Between 1860 and 1910 the black population in California grew slowly from 4,086 to 21,645 and remained about 1 percent of the total population throughout the era. There was a small presence of African Americans in some Central...
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  PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIONS The photographs, over 30,000 images, housed in the Fresno Historical Society Archives reflect Fresno County and regional history from the earliest times to the present. The photographs show the growth and development of...
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The mission of the Oral History collection is to document the history of Fresno County and the Central Valley region through oral history interviews. In addition to interviews conducted by its own staff and volunteers, the Historical Society accepts...
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The Archives’ largest newspaper clipping collection (over 250,000 entries) is the creation of Ben R. Walker – a Fresno historian, newspaperman, professor, and founding president of the Historical Society. Information in the files dates from...
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The Archives’ extensive collection of published materials includes books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspaper clipping files, sheet music, maps and atlases related to Fresno County and Central California regional history. The materials also include...
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Ephemera are paper documents produced for a short, transitory life -- an item produced for a specific purpose and normally intended for disposal. The definition of ephemera comes to us from the Greek ‘epi’ (about) and ‘hermeris’...
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A valuable source of research materials often not readily available elsewhere is the sizeable collection in the Archives’ vertical files. This collection contains newspaper clippings, brochures, pamphlets, anniversary publications of churches and...