I sometimes picture my farm as a battlefield with troops of people struggling with nature in a hundred-year war.

Germans, Italians, Chinese and Japanese, Armenians, Filipinos, and Mexicans---their voices have sounded over this farm, their families have walked these rows . . .

~ David Mas Masumoto, Epitaph for a Peach

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Fresno County and San Joaquin Valley History

Mariposa Street, Fresno City, Postcard Collection.
Fresno Historical Society Archives

History Research Rooms

The history research rooms at local libraries have many reference sources and may have information, or be able to suggest online sources. 

The Fresno County Public Library - San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center

2420 Mariposa Street, Fresno, CA  93721-2285 - located on the 2nd floor

(559) 600-6230

 Email: http://www.fresnolibrary.org/heritage/email.html

Madera County Library - California History & Family Research Room

121 N G Street, Madera, CA 93637 - located on the 2nd floor

(559) 675-7871

Email: madera@maderacountylibrary.org

Henry Madden Library at CSU, Fresno - Special Collections Center

5200 N. Barton Ave., M/S ML34, Fresno, CA 93740-8014

(559) 278-2595

Email: specialc@listserv.csufresno.edu

Henry Madden Library at CSU, Fresno

5200 Barton Ave., Fresno, CA 93710 

(559) 278-2174

Email: https://library.fresnostate.edu/info/research-help/email-librarian

Fresno Newspaper Archives

Henry Madden Library - Fresno Morning Republican/Fresno Bee Archives

The Fresno Morning Republican and Fresno Bee are digitally accessible at the Henry Madden Library at CSU, Fresno through the link below. The Madden Library also has local newspapers on microfilm. Students and faculty can access from off-site, but the community must go into the library and use their computers. Not all years have every issue.

Fresno Morning Republican - 1887-1921

Fresno Bee - 1922-1938

Fresno Bee - 1986-Current


San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center - Newspapers

The Heritage Center holds microfilms of all major newspapers published in the city of Fresno, and from some other localities in Fresno County and elsewhere in California. There is an alphabetical list by title and an alphabetical list by place of publication.

Most important among the Room's holdings are the Fresno Weekly/Daily Evening Expositor (1870-1898), Fresno Weekly/Evening Republican (1876-1932), Fresno Weekly/Evening Democrat (1902-1907), Fresno Herald and Democrat (1907-1913), and Fresno Herald (1916-1924).

A complete microfilm file of the Fresno Bee (1922- present) is available for use in the Readers' Service area on the library's ground floor. The IFresno Bee file from 1986 to the present is searchable electronically at Library Internet terminals. Note: This resource is most useful for feature article content; some items, such as obituary rosters and paid funeral notices, might not be available from this database.

Newspapers held by the Fresno County Public Library system, but not present in the Heritage Center, include:

Clovis Independent (1916-present), at Clovis.

Fowler Courier (1894), at Fowler.

Fowler Ensign (1898-present), at Fowler.

Kingsburg Recorder (1920-1921, 1925-1933, 1973-present), at Kingsburg.

Orange Cove and Mountain Times (1983-1993), at Orange Cove.

Reedley Ledger (1916), at Reedley.

Reedley Exponent (1892-present), at Reedley.

Sanger Herald (1920-present), at Sanger.

Selma Enterprise (1891-present), at Selma.

The California Newspaper Project has a database with considerable information about Fresno County's and other California newspapers.


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: http://www.fresnolibrary.org/ref/webref.html


Fresno County and San Joaquin Valley Museums

Meux Home Museum

Clovis Big Dry Creek Historical Society Museum

African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley

Arte Americas

Forstiere Underground Gardens

Mennonite Quilt Center

Fresno Art Museum

Heritage of Eagles Air Museum

Castle Air Museum

Legion of Valor Veterans Museum

Reedley Historical Museum

Kingsburg Historical Park

Sanger Depot Museum

Central Sierra Historical Society Museum

Tulare Historical Museum

Haggin Museum - Stockton

Kern County Museum

Merced County Courthouse Museum

R. C. Baker Memorial Museum - 297 W Elm Ave, Coalinga, CA 93210


Books about Fresno County

Early Histories of Fresno County

These histories can be found at the Fresno County Library's Heritage Center. Some of the early histories are keyword searchable and available for free on Google Books.  

Recommended Reading

You’ll find two reading lists here - one focused on the history of California’s Central Valley, the other a list of publications about Fresno and Fresno County. Enjoy exploring these resources.


Last Updated Sunday, February 16, 2020 - 01:25 PM.