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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. 

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Young girls in fashionable attire, Hutch
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  • Researchers have access to the holdings of the Fresno County Historical Society Archives by appointment only.

  • Appointments are scheduled following a research interview which is necessary to enable the us to gather all materials relevant to the researcher’s needs.

  • Email your research request using the link below. Please incorporate as much detail as possible, including names, dates and locations, to ensure that the request is clear.

  • A summary of the materials in the Archives that relate to the research request will be provided.  Please allow up to two weeks for processing.

  • If collections relevant to your research are available, you will be invited to schedule an onsite appointment.

  • Research appointments must be made at least two weeks in advance. 


​The primary resources of the Fresno County Historical Society Archives collections are rare and unique, and often fragile and at risk for damage. These guidelines for the use of archival materials have been drafted with the physical safety of the collection in mind. We depend upon our researchers to help us maintain the collection by following the archives guidelines for handling materials.

View complete guidelines


The Fresno Historical Society has developed a number of finding aids for our archival collections. The organization has over 300 collections.  Currently only a small number of these holdings have completed Finding Aids available.  Our ultimate goal is to upload our finding aids to the Online Archive of California (OAC), which provides free public access to detailed descriptions of the primary resource collections of more than two hundred contributing institutions throughout California, as well as collections maintained by the ten University of California campuses. The OAC allows the collections of the Fresno Historical Society to be discoverable with a simple internet search. For a complete list of Society collections on the OAC, click HERE.



Butler Vineyard Ledger, 1903-1915



Cody Family Papers, 1859-1912

Harvey Family Papers, 1848-1965

Martin Theodore (M. Theo.) Kearney Papers,
1887-1907, 1966

James Porteous Collection, 1877-1947, 1972

Gene Tully Papers, 1906-1965

Lilborne Alsip (L.A.) Winchell, 1881-1931

This list is just a small sample of the Fresno Historical Society's archival holdings.  To inquire about another collection please submit a research request through the link above. 

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Fresno County History Further Reading List is available for your reference in the PDF below. Some of the early histories are keyword searchable and available for free on Google Books.  






Local History Research Rooms


The Fresno County Public Library - San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center (located on the 2nd floor)  

2420 Mariposa Street

Fresno, CA  93721-2285

(559) 600-6230


Madera County Library - California History & Family Research Room (located on the 2nd floor)  

121 N G St

Madera, CA 93637

(559) 675-7871

Henry Madden Library - Special Collections Center
5200 N. Barton Ave., M/S ML34 
Fresno, CA 93740-8014 
(559) 278-2595 


Fresno Newspaper Archives

San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center, Central Fresno County Library

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.

Collection includes:

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)
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 Bee file from 1986 to the present is searchable electronically at Library Internet terminals.

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 Fresno County, contact Heritage Center of the Fresno County Library.  You can send a request to   The Heritage Center has newspaper microfilm covering Fresno county from the 1880s to the present


The Fresno County Public Library, Central Branch

Reference Department

2420 Mariposa Street

Fresno, CA  93721


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