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Grant number: PG-252903-17

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Contra Costa County Historical Society (Martinez, CA 94553-1114)
Priscilla A. Couden (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

Implementation of a Preservation Plan for the Contra Costa County History Center

The hiring of a consultant and the purchase of environmental monitoring equipment and supplies for a collection of over 2,000 linear feet of materials documenting the history of one of California’s original counties.  Highlights of the collection include judicial records dating back to 1850; historic newspapers and naturalization documents from the 19th and 20th centuries; detailed histories and genealogies of California’s pioneer families and Native American peoples; mid-19th century California maps; and the files of R.R. Veale, county sheriff from 1895 to 1935 and an early proponent of fingerprinting and the humane treatment of prisoners.  Materials from the collection have been used in exhibitions on elections, the women’s suffrage movement, and the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915. 

The Contra Costa County History Center, located in Martinez, California, contains over 2000 linear feet of collections relating to the history of Contra Costa County, the 9th largest county in California, with a population of 1,000,000.  The History Center's collections date back to pre-statehood days and include important documents available to the public relating to Native American and pioneer California history, law enforcement history from 1895-1935¸original U.S. naturalization documents from 1869-1984, and ledgers and court case papers from 1850 onward.  It is also the repository of the Contra Costa County Superior Court's mandated records up to the year 1911.  With grant funds, the Contra Costa County History Center would hire a consultant and purchase equipment that will help the Center implement a preservation plan that includes installing monitoring equipment for temperature and humidity, light mitigation, and preservation of these valuable collections.

Project fields:
History, Other; Public History; U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018