Online Archive of California & Calisphere
Guides to over 20,000 collections housed in 200 libraries, archives, historical societies, special collections and museums across California are searchable at the Online Archive of California (OAC). Analogous to catalog records for books, collection guides (also known as finding aids) are the descriptive records used to find, understand, and locate archival resources and unique materials. They help users learn more about the scope of a collection so they know if it is likely to meet their research needs.
Digitized versions of photographs, documents, newspapers, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, and other cultural artifacts that are contributed by these California institutions to the OAC make up the content included in Calisphere.
These two websites exist because they serve two very different user needs. For research-oriented users who want to go beyond what is available online and locate the actual, physical item, the OAC is the best starting point. For users whose primary interest is to view digitized images and documents, Calisphere is a place to explore online content. In addition, Calisphere provides K-12 educators with a subset of content organized and aligned with California Content Standards.
[Content adapted from CDL's Digital Special Collections.]