Visitors check out rarely seen artifacts at the Center for Sacramento History. Courtesy photo

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Rarely seen historic treasures on public display

By From page A7 | October 04, 2017

In celebration of National Archives Month, archives and special collections libraries from throughout the region will showcase their rarely seen holdings during the seventh annual Sacramento Archives Crawl from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7. Free and open to the public, the theme for the event this year is It Came from the Archives!?

Showcasing historic treasures from 24 Northern California institutions, numerous special artifacts will be on public display for one-day-only at four host locations, including the California State Archives, the California State Library, the Center for Sacramento History and the Sacramento Public Library.

The 2017 Archives Crawl includes the free presentation titled The Anomalies by Andrew McLeod of Confluence Tours.  McLeod will explore the depths of unexpected stories found in Sacramento archives at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. at the Sacramento Public Library. The Archives Crawl will again also feature a “History Scavenger Hunt,” where students and adults answer questions about the documents and artifacts on display at the four crawl locations. Those correctly answering 10 of the clues are then eligible to enter a drawing for a chance to win one of nine Samsung Tab 4 Nooks.

As part of the Archives Crawl, participants have the opportunity to visit four host locations all located in downtown Sacramento. At the four locations, the public can view archival collections on display and take behind-the-scenes tours. A sampling of the items on special display for the event this year include bizarre vintage trademarks and historic records and artifacts relating to crime and punishment (California State Archives); photographs and books about California characters Emperor Norton, Death Valley Scotty and Sarah Winchester as well as unusual ephemera including a Richard Nixon shower head and photos from California’s mystery spots (California State Library); a exhibit of the work of school photographer Michael Benning, and the art films of Darrell Forney and zany television news reports by Steve LaRosa (Center for Sacramento History); and a bizarre array of images, ephemera and artifacts, including Sacramento High School’s Alpha Mu Fraternity initiation script and goggles from 1904 (Sacramento Public Library).

In addition, representatives from other archives and special collections libraries will be at the host locations to discuss their archival collections — historic photographs, rare books, historic artifacts — and answer questions about how to connect with local history resources and care for historical records and artifacts.

The following is a list of the host locations and the repositories that will be tabling at each. Participants may start at any of the four locations:

California State Archives (1020 O St.)
El Dorado County Historical Museum
Folsom Historical Society
Lavender Library, Archive, and Cultural Exchange
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, Gold Rush Research Library
Old City Cemetery Committee
Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society Library
Sacramento City College Special Collections
Society of California Archivists

California State Library (900 N St.)
California State Parks Archives
California State University, Chico
University of California, Davis

Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.)
Congregation B’nai Israel Archives
Placer County Archives & Research Center
Sacramento River Delta Historical Society
Yolo County Archives

Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room (828 I St.)
California Digital Library
California State Railroad Museum Library
California State University, Sacramento
Rocklin Historical Society
San Joaquin Historical Society & Museum

Free Archives Crawl passports will be given to guests as they visit the first host institution of their choice. The passport provides a map of the event and information about the participating institutions. Event attendees who get their passport stamped at three of the four host sites will be given a set of limited-edition commemorative coasters. The coasters celebrate the It Came from the Archives!? theme with photographs of weird and odd-ball Sacramento.

Free transportation between host locations will be provided via transit buses; free parking is available only at the Center for Sacramento History.

For more information about the seventh Annual Sacramento Archives Crawl visit sacarchivescrawl.com. The event is part of Archives Month, a nationwide celebration held each October to raise awareness of the value of archives and to recognize the archivists who bring the past to the present. For information about other events in California visit calarchivesmonth.org.

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

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