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California History Begins at the State Archives 

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The first act of California's first legislature, signed by Governor Peter Burnett in San Jose on January 5, 1850, was titled "An Act Concerning the Public Archives." It directed the Secretary of State to gather together the papers of the previous military government and to collect, classify, keep and preserve materials "...which appertain to, or are in any wise connected with the political, civil, and military history, and past administration of the Government in California; the titles to bonds within the territory, or to any other subject which may be interesting or valuable as references to the Government, or people of the State."

California's first state law was about history, and established what is now the California State Archives in the office of the Secretary of State. The State Archives the oldest non-constitutional function of California government, and has been carrying out its mission to preserve and make available the records of state government for 150 years.

LearnCalifornia.org has been developed by the staff of the State Archives as part of this effort, and is tailored specifically to the needs of teachers, students and general history researchers. It is intended to grow and expand in response to the needs of its users, and new items will be added continuously.

This site was designed by SacWeb.com for the California Secretary of State. Content has been developed by teacher Tom Nelson of the Elk Grove Unified School District, Archivists Linda Johnson, Dr. Blaine Lamb, and Jeff Crawford, Graduate Student Intern David Walker and Student Assistant Michael Taylor, with additional contributions by the staffs of the California State Archives and the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.

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