State Historical Society

The California Historical Society (CHS) has existed since 1871. It was established as a permanent institution in 1922, after C. Templeton Crocker donated his vast California collection to the Society. Since that time, the organization has continuously collected material related to the State’s diverse histories and people, making it one of the major research institutions devoted to California and the west.

CHS was legally recognized as the official State Historical Society in 1979. It is currently located on Mission Street in San Francisco. Its holdings comprise over 4,000 manuscript collections, 500,000 photographs and scrapbooks, 50,000 books and pamphlets, and other printed material such as posters and other visual materials. The Society makes stories of California accessible to the public through its research library, exhibitions, educational and public programs.

(Senate Bill 63, Chapter 52, 1979)

Explore our State Symbols

  • State Amphibian - Red Legged Frog
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    State Symbols
    Amphibian - Red Legged Frog
    California red-legged frogs are an endangered species due to the loss of habitat, invasive species, and water pollution.
  • State Animal
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    State Symbols
    Animal - California Grizzly Bear
    The loss of habitat and over-hunting by a rapidly growing human population led to their complete extinction by the 1920s.
  • State Bird - California Valley Quail
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    State Symbols
    Bird - California Valley Quail
    California Valley Quail live from Canada to Mexico and from the Pacific coast to Utah.