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Since its founding in 1919, the Historical Society has been committed to building a research repository that holds primary source material to help tell the diverse story of the San Joaquin Valley. Most of the holdings are dated between 1848 and 1960, which include the pioneer days of the late nineteenth century through the development of Fresno County and the City of Fresno in the early twentieth century. Collections are from civic and community leaders, as well as businesses and organizations are well represented. Society members and friends continue to play an essential role in expanding the Archives’ resources.


If you have historical material that you are interested in donating to the Fresno County Historical Society Archives please contact us by calling the Archivist at (559) 441-0862 and press 4 or email: Please provide a detailed description of the materials, including photographs if possible. All donations are subject to review by the Collections Committee.


Please note - the Society cannot accept the donation of unsolicited items through the mail or in person. 


Every day, we are making history, and the Fresno City & County Historical Society Archives' relocation is a pivotal moment in that ongoing narrative! We welcome you to join us in this monumental journey by becoming an Archives Ally. Housing over a century of Fresno's history, the Archives are a treasure trove of artifacts, images, ephemera, and collections. The task of relocating these invaluable pieces is no small feat.

By sponsoring an item with a one-time gift, you'll contribute directly to its restoration, re-accessioning, and relocation. This is your chance to play a vital role in safeguarding our past for our present and future generations. 


Each collection requires specific resources for relocation, including shelving, containers, scanning and collection materials, plexi-cases, unbuffered tissue paper, and deacidification materials. While the task may seem daunting, with support from Archives Allies like you, we're confident in our ability to tackle this endeavor head-on.


You can also sponsor a specific collection with an ongoing monthly donation. These collections are large and will take more time, materials, and preservation care.


With each sponsorship, an Ally will receive detailed information about the collection or item they are sponsoring, including images, as well as a formal thank you in The Grapevine Newsletter and at The Archive On Kern.


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Volunteers play an important role in fulfilling the Fresno County Historical Society's mission of preserving and sharing our extensive Archives and serving as a research center for the study of Fresno County and San Joaquin Valley history. The work of organizing and describing material housed in the Archives is advanced through the participation of volunteers who take on a variety of projects requiring many different talents and skills. These volunteers have the opportunity to interact with our staff, gain proficiency in research and play an important role in cataloging our Valley’s remarkable history. Volunteers are integral to the operation of the Archives.

Archives volunteer duties may include:

1. Conducting historical research and writing about collections or other local history topics

2. Processing collections

3. Creating finding aids

4. Digitizing photographs and documents

5. Inventorying and cleaning archival storage areas 

6. Assisting with special research and education projects

Archives volunteers must be available to commit to working a minimum of 4 hours/week Tuesday - Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, able to lift 20 lbs., able to climb stairs, and have their own transportation. 

Sue scanning photographs.jpg


The Fresno County Historical Society welcomes the use of its archival collections by researchers. The mission of an archive includes two equally important components, preservation and access. In addition to providing access to primary source material for study and research, the archive is a repository that is charged with the preservation of primary source materials for future generations. 



Ariel Lopez with Fruit of the Valley Exh

The Fresno County Historical Society regularly curates exhibitions in display cases at Fresno City Hall located at 2600 Fresno St, Fresno, CA 93721.

Two cases can be found in the first floor lobby and two cases are located in the Mayor's Office in the same building. 

Each installation seeks to share a unique time in the history of our region.  They highlight the individuals, innovations and personal stories that have made the Central Valley what it is today. 

The following exhibition is currently on view in the Fresno City Hall Cases:  

Fresno's Early Mayors: Perspectives From the Past  

Featuring portraits, campaign material and candid photos of the City's first nine mayors serving from 1901 to 1937.   


In December 2019 the Fresno Historical Society opened a Gallery Space on the first floor of the Servants Quarters at the Kearney Mansion Museum.  The Gallery features exhibitions that tell the story of our region through photographs and objects housed in the Society's archives and in conjunction with partner organizations from throughout Fresno County.

Exhibitions change quarterly.  The Gallery is open for viewing as part of the Kearney Mansion Museum Tour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm. 

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