Sacramento Agriculture and Transportation History Online

Online Offerings Now Available

A valuable online resource, re-launched in 2004, can help you learn about Sacramento's extensive agricultural and transportation history and become more familiar with the extensive documentary collections of the California State Railroad Museum Library and three other Sacramento archival institutions.

Sacramento History Online is a joint endeavor of the California State Library's California History Room, the California State Railroad Museum Library, the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, and the Sacramento Public Library's Sacramento Room. These institutional partners have long shared a mutual clientele due to each having strong holdings in Sacramento City and County history dating from the mid 19th century.

The site is available as a link through the Museum website. It can also be accessed directly at www.sacramentohistory.org. Sacramento History Online offers web access to primary source materials relating to the history of transportation and agriculture in the Sacramento Valley region from the mid-19th century to the late 1920s.

With an eye for diversity, striking imagery and content, each institution selected hundreds of examples from their collections to illustrate ranching, farming, irrigation and reclamation, harvesting, truck crops, and the State Fair as these all relate to agriculture, plus travel, recreation, and commerce as they relate to railroad, bicycle, airplane, maritime and animal-powered modes of transportation.

Two easy-to-use search screens allow students to search agriculture and transportation topics by keyword, or to narrow the query by date, agriculture type, animals, fruits, etc. plus transportation mode, document type, or institution. Site visitors will find photographs, pamphlets, technical drawings, posters, postcards, book and periodical illustrations, and even a few license plates. The details of full-size drawings, handwritten letters, and the full text of selected pamphlets can be studied online or printed for review.

Complementing the image catalog are narrative histories of the Sacramento region's agriculture and transportation, and a timeline. McLean Media, of Grass Valley, has created an eight-lesson curriculum guide for each primary topic to assist teachers in making effective use of the website in the classroom. A travel game and a farm game, useful not only for school but also at-home family learning, both entertain as well as educate users of all ages.

The U. S. Institute of Museum and Library Services funded the project in two phases under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Library. Each year since 1957, the program has awarded grants on a competitive basis for locally initiated proposals. The LSTA supports projects involving the innovative use of technology, networking and resource sharing, as well as the development of targeted library and information services.

For More Information

The California State Railroad Museum Library is open for research use, Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Please contact Library staff at (916) 323-8073 if you have questions about the Museum's research collections and its online resources.

Operated by California State Parks with assistance from the nonprofit CSRM Foundation, the California State Railroad Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Widely regarded as North America's finest and most-visited interpretive railroad museum, the complex of facilities includes the 100,000-square foot Museum of Railroad History plus the reconstructed Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station and Freight Depot, 1849 Eagle Theatre, and Big Four and Dingley Spice Mill commercial buildings in Old Sacramento. For 24-hour information, call (916) 445-6645.