The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 1987, Volume 33, Number 4
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Book Notes

Newspaper Holdings of the California State Library.

Compiled by Marianne Leach. Sacramento: California State Library Foundation, 1986. Index. 396 Pages. $40.00 softbound.

Newspapers are possibly the most frequently used source for local history. The largest collection of newspapers in California is in the State Library at Sacramento, which has over 2500 titles. To facilitate the use of that magnificent collection, the California State Library Foundation has just published a hefty guide, Newspaper Holdings of the California State Library. The bulk of the guide is devoted to a listing of their holdings, including title, dates of issues and other information. Those entries are arranged geographically (California, Out-of-State, Foreign), and then by county, city and title. Thus, to find the San Diego Sun, you would look under California, San Diego County, San Diego, and then for the title. If you are not sure of the exact location, there is also an index of newspapers by title, as well as a subject list and a city list. The second part of the guide is a unique genealogy of newspapers, showing how the newspapers evolved – how they merged with others, changed names, etc. This volume will be useful to local researchers in several ways: 1) it becomes a reference book on California newspapers, 2) it will help you trace the various changes in title of a newspaper you are trying to work with, and 3) the guide will enable you to know what is in Sacramento and thus help you plan your research travel more effectively. Anyone using newspapers in their research on San Diego history should make it a habit to consult this new guide.