Historic & Research Sites

Orange County Archives & Organizations:

Orange County Archives: “The Orange County Archives serves as the main repository for historic property documents, vital records and other materials from county government. The Archives is open daily to offer assistance to local historians, property researchers, genealogists and students.

The Archives is also home to a vast collection of historic photos and archival materials from affiliated government agencies, as well as the Knott’s Berry Farm Collection, the federal court record of the county’s 1994 bankruptcy, Orange County directories and many local historic newspapers and magazines.”

OC Parks

Interactive Parks Map: http://www.ocparks.com/gov/occr/ocparks/map.asp

Address: 13042 Old Myford Rd, Irvine, CA 92602
Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

Orange County Historical Commission: It “was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1973 in response to requests by interested County residents. Orange County families, businesses, libraries, schools, churches, and other institutions have traditionally fostered interest in history since their beginnings.” You can view their monthly agenda via their website.

Orange County Historical Commissioners:

  • Chair: Marilyn Thoms, Third District
  • Vice Chair: Helen Myers, Fourth District
  • Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Fifth District
  • Steve Adamson, Fourth District
  • Bob Bunyan, Fifth District
  • Philip Chinn, First District
  • Alexandria Coronado, Second District
  • Don Dobmeier, First District
  • Pamela Harrell, Third District
  • Margrit Kendrick, Second District
  • Mark A. Lopez, Fourth District
  • VACANT, Fifth District
  • Lee Ramos, Second District
  • Steve Sarkis, First District
  • Lynne Yauger, Third District
  • Dennis Shaffer, Executive Officer
  • Heather Glasgow, Support Staff

Historical Commission
211 West Santa Ana Blvd
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714)973-6607
oldcourthouse@ocparks.com

O.C. Public Libraries

Research Centers:

Center for Oral and Public History at CSUF

CSULB Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive

USC Shoah Foundation

UC Irvine Special Collections & Archives

UCLA Library Special Collections

UC Berkeley Oral History Center

Concordia University Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling in Quebec, Canada

OC Museums, Historical Societies, and Historic Sites:

Bowers Museum: “The Bowers Museum holds in its collection more than 120,000 works of art. These works were donated from 1935 to the present and represent many regions and cultures of the world. The museum’s largest collections are in the areas of Native American art, Pre-Columbian art, Asian art, art of the Pacific, art of Africa and Orange County history. Represented here are only brief descriptions of the largest sections of the museum’s collection. An online catalogue of the collection is linked to this website.”

Orange County Historical Society: “Orange County Historical Society is a research, archival, and educational organization, dedicated to the discovery, preservation, and dissemination of the history of Orange County, of its people, and the surrounding area for the benefit of its members and the general public.”

“The Society includes in its collections a reference library of more than 1,200 volumes of content pertaining to local families, historic buildings, events, and sites. Among this collection are photos, some of which have been scanned in and made available for purchase. Visit the Photo Gallery to browse these images.”

San Juan Capistrano Historical Society: “Take a journey into the past on a 1 1/2 hour tour of our historical town. You will visit adobes built in the 1790s and the Victorian Pryor House. Stroll down Rios Street the oldest preserved residential street in the state. Have fun locating the buildings from the 1800s and learn about the people who lived in them. Hear the tales of Buchard the pirate, Juan Flores the bandito, Chola Martina the bruja and much more. The tours are given every Sunday at 1p.m. Meet your guide at the railroad depot platform on Verdugo Street. The tour covers approximately four city blocks. Donations of $2.00 per adult and $1.00 for children are accepted and go to several projects, including Save the Adobe Fund. Group tours can be booked on request by calling the Historical Society at 949 493- 8444.

The Historical Society has thousands of photos archived. You can view many of our favorites on this SmugMug site. In addition you can purchase from the site and have the photos printed and delivered to your home or business.”

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Heritage Museum of Orange County

Howe-Waffle House – Santa Ana Historical Society

Fullerton Museum

Heritage House – Fullerton Arboretum

Brea Museum & Historical Society

Newland House Museum — Huntington Beach Historical Society

Newport Beach Historical Society

Sherman Library & Gardens: “Sherman Library is a historical research library specializing in the history of the Pacific Southwest – including southern California, Arizona, northern Mexico and adjoining areas. The Library’s collections document the development of the region through books, archival collections, photographs, maps, aerial photographs and newspapers. Sherman Library is also home to a collection of California impressionist art, including works by William Wendt, Edgar Payne, Clarence Hinkle and Anita Hills.”

Irvine Historical Society

Tustin Area Historical Society

Costa Mesa Historical Society: “The Costa Mesa Historical Society office, archive, museum and library are open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am until 3:00pm, or at other times by appointment. The building is located near the downtown library and recreation center at 1870 Anaheim Avenue. The Diego Sepulveda Adobe is open to the public for tours on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month from 12 Noon to 4PM, or at other times by appointment. The adobe is located in Estancia Park, 1900 Adams Avenue, Costa Mesa. Please contact us at the above address or phone number for more information.”

Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

Laguna Beach Historical Society

Laguna Woods History Center

Arden: Helena Modjeska Historic House and Gardens

Cooper Center

Heritage Hill Historical Park

Irvine Ranch Historic Park

George Key Ranch Historic Park

Old Orange County Courthouse

Ramon Peralta Adobe Historic Site

Historic Yorba Cemetery