Have a question about the county’s history? The Archives are your first stop for research.
The Archives are closed while San Mateo County is in the Widespread (Purple) COVID Tier.
The Archival Collection ranges from 1830 to the present and includes books, clippings, documents, films, fine art, ledgers, letters, manuscripts, memorabilia, microfilm, newspapers, pamphlets, periodicals, transcripts, posters, records, scrapbooks, slides and students monographs. The materials are available for research in the Archives.
Archives Reading Room Re-Opening Update
Appointments will be available when the Archives are able to reopen.
Visitors can email or call 650.299.0104 and ask to speak to the Archivist to make appointments on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and during the week on Tuesday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Please contact us to schedule appointments at least two days in advance. To address concerns around COVID-19, one group at a time will be allowed in the Archives Reading Room per appointment. We will also be sanitizing surfaces between visits in addition to asking everyone to continue mask use and social distancing while in the building.
Explore over 300,000 photographs and negatives. Included are special collections from the San Mateo Times, Bay Meadows and local photographers.
Photographic and document reproductions available for a fee.
The Archives has 1,500 volume book collection. It ranges from local history books to telephone and city directories.
Read the breaking news from yesteryear. The archives include complete runs of many newspapers including the San Mateo County Gazette, Burlingame Advance, Foster City Progress, San Carlos Enquirer, Redwood City Tribune and So. San Francisco Enterprise.