In the reading room, databases allow access to the following collections: books, manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, and special collections.

Many of the collections are fragile and there are restrictions on the use of some original documents. Photocopy requests are filled at the discretion of the librarian.

The following portions of our library collections are available to you via the internet.

The Association of Pioneer Women of California – Search the transcriptions of over 800 first-person accounts of women who arrived during the early years of statehood.


Online Archive of California – Search this database by Keyword for manuscripts in our Alice Phelan Sullivan Library.


WorldCat – Search for books by Author, Title and Keyword and more.  If our Library owns the title, we will be listed under “Holdings”.


California Newspaper Project – Use the “Institution” field, and search with the phrase: Soc. of Calif. Pioneers. This abbreviation must be used exactly to retrieve our 189 records.

Sheet Music

19th Century California Sheet Music – To narrow your search to only the music in our collection, enter “Society of California Pioneers” as the Keyword. This will bring up 1,012 items. The database provides complete digital images of the cover and the music.


California Ephemera – Click on any of our three collections – Biographical Files, California Files, or County Files – to search within that collection.