Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Santa Clara County Archives Go On-Line

The latest report from one of the nation’s local archives is Lisa M. Krieger’s County archives bring back fascinating history of lives and times not forgotten, from the on-line edition of the San Jose Mercury News. It commences:
For more than a century, the bloody details of a harrowing 1896 Campbell massacre were trapped deep inside the pages of a tattered, old record book.

Now, thanks to modern technology, the coroner's inquest of the grisly crime — as well as numerous other fascinating but previously unsorted official documents, maps and photographs — are indexed online and finally accessible to the public through the Santa Clara County Archives.

In careful calligraphy what happened on that grisly May 26 night to each member of a farming family appears on pages 309-314 of Volume 1 of the Coroner Inquest Collection: Richard McGlincy, 56, gunshot. Adah McGlincy, 53, ax wounds. Hallie Dunham, 25, dislocation of neck. James Wells, 22, gunshot. Minnie Stresler, 28, ax wounds. Robert Briscoe, 50, gunshot.

These and thousands of other deaths are described in one of the Archives', newly catalogued and indexed collections through the painstaking work of dozens of volunteers, supervised by county archivist Michael Griffith. Also newly catalogued and indexed are the results of 1,600 property surveys between 1890 and 1960 and 8,000 naturalization records from 1850 to 1934.

Appended to the story is the following:
For a current listing of materials available for research, click [here and] then click on "Santa Clara County Archives" under "List of Contributing Institutions." New collections are made available as they arrive. Additionally, searchable databases for the Archives' County Photographers" Collection, County Wills Collection and County Probate Cases collection are available here. Location: 1875 Senter Road. Hours: Monday (10-4), Wednesday, (9-1) and by appointment the rest of the week. Contact: 408-792-1895 or email Archives@rec.sccgov.org. Research inquiries prior to a site visit are encouraged. The Archives also welcomes research inquires and may assist in location of information. No pens, food or drink. Digital cameras are permitted.
Image credit: Maria J. Avila Lopez/Mercurynews