The Anne T. Kent California Room is an archive dedicated to collecting and preserving information on local, regional, and state history with a strong emphasis on the history and culture of Marin County. Resources include photographs, oral histories, biography files, maps, books, directories, voter registers, local newspaper clippings, documents and ephemera. We are currently in the process of digitizing our large collection of primary source materials.
Your destination for Marin Local History
Local History Collections
Books & Print materials
Approximately 8500 books, documents & periodicals focus primarily on Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area, and also include California as a whole.
Organized into approximately 200 subject categories, all pertaining to Marin County.
Our ongoing oral history program was started in 1974 by Anne Kent and Carla Ehat, and the archive now includes approximately 400 interviews.
Over 9,000 photographs document Marin County and Northern California, c.1870 – c.1975.
Extensive biography files contain information and obituaries on Marin County residents including pioneers, politicians, authors and artists.
Marin County Directories
Business directories and phone books range from 1878 – present.
San Francisco Directories
Business directories and phone books range from 1861 – 1977.
Marin County Voter Registers
Marin County Voter Register affidavits range from 1908 – 1935.
The voter register indexes cover the period 1868 – 1932.
Over 500 historical maps of Marin County and 200 of California. An interactive Marin County Rancho map is available on our Digital Archive.
Primary source materials on a wide variety of subjects, all pertaining to Marin County.
Historic Homes in Marin
Junior League of San Francisco survey
In 1968, the Junior League of San Francisco published: Here Today: San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage. It includes a chapter on Marin County with a description of historic homes. Our collection consists of their work sheets documenting approximately 440 Marin homes & buildings.
Historic Inventory of Homes & Buildings in California
In 1977, The State Department of Parks and Recreation conducted a “Historic Resources Inventory of Homes and Buildings in California.” Our collection consists of their inventory sheets documenting approximately 300 structures in Marin
The Dr. Leo Stanley Collection on San Quentin Prison
Consists of personal journals, travel diaries, prison records, clippings, medical papers, photographs and ephemera on the history of San Quentin Prison. Dr. Stanley was the prison doctor at San Quentin Prison from 1913 to 1951. Some photographs from this collection are available on our Digital Archive.
The Stinson Family Collection
Papers focus on the family’s property holdings at Bolinas and Stinson Beach. Photograph albums depict family activities at Stinson Beach and elsewhere.
The Kent Family Collection
Photographs & ephemera pertaining to the Kent Family who settled in Marin County in 1871 and who had extensive land holdings in the Ross Valley (Kentfield) and the Mt. Tamalpais area. Also, papers and writings of Congressman, William Kent, and his wife, Elizabeth Thatcher Kent. Materials from this collection are available in the following digital collections:
Frank Lloyd Wright & The Marin County Civic Center
Books, documents and photographs on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, with a special emphasis on the Marin County Civic Center. Some materials are available on our Digital Archive.
Mountain Play Collection
The first six decades of the Mountain Plays (1913-1972) performed in the outdoor amphitheater on Mt. Tamalpais are well documented in the Mountain Play Association scrapbooks which include photographs, play programs, clippings and ephemera. Some materials from these scrapbooks are available on our Digital Archive.
Several hundred essays expounding on multiple facets of Marin County life and history written and compiled by members of the Federal Writers Project of the WPA, c.1936. The WPA also assembled clipping files, organized by subject, from Marin County newspapers, c.1861-1939.
Local Newspapers (at the Civic Center Branch)
The main newspaper for Marin County is the Marin Independent Journal (and its predecessors, the Marin County Journal and the San Rafael Independent), 1861-present. Click on the links below to see the holdings for these and other local papers.
|Marin Independent Journal
Alta California (1858, only)
The Ark (Tiburon)
The Fax (Fairfax)
|Larkspur-Corte Madera News
Twin Cities Times (Larkspur & Corte Madera)
Marin County Tocsin (Marin County)
Pacific Sun (Marin County)
|Point Reyes Light|
Anne T. Kent
at the Civic Center Library
3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 427
San Rafael, CA 94903
Please call (415) 473-7419 or email staff to schedule a visit or discuss a research project
California Room Librarian
Request for Obituaries/Articles
Download and complete PDF, mail to California Room with a check for $10 (no cash please)
Our archive continues to grow, thanks to the generous donations of generations of Marin County citizens. If you have material which you think would be of interest to our collection, please contact us.