Online Archive of California (OAC)
The Online Archive of California (OAC) provides free public access to primary sources—including manuscripts, photographs, artwork, scientific data and more—through more than 38,000 collection guides and 200,000 digitized images and documents.
Analogous to catalog records for books, collection guides (also known as finding aids) are the descriptive records used to find, understand, and locate archival resources and unique materials. They help users learn more about the scope of a collection so they know if it is likely to meet their research needs.
The content on the OAC is contributed by more than 200 archives, special collections, libraries, historical societies, and museums at all 10 UC campuses and across California that house the original materials.
The OAC has a long and notable history, and it played a pivotal role in the first efforts to provide online access to archival material. In 2005, the OAC won the Society of American Archivists’ C.F.W. Coker Award for innovation in archival description. Read more about the history of OAC.