Albany Local History

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Albany Library Local History Collection

The Albany Historical Collection comprises a wide range of materials, including books, newspapers, pamphlets, oral histories, photographs, clippings and memorabilia.

The majority of the collection consists of material donated by local historian Catherine Webb. As founder and president of the Albany Historical Society, Ms. Webb documented the history of Albany for more than sixty years. In January 1994, to coincide with the opening of the new library building, she donated the entire collection of the Historical Society to the Albany Library, where it is displayed in a special alcove designed to house it.

Since then, several other members of the community have donated additional materials to the library's collection, and the Friends of the Albany Library have generously supported the microfilming of the entire local newspaper collection.

Donating Historical Materials to the Library

Has your family lived in Albany for many years?

  • Do you have old photographs showing your house, your street, or a school, city or other public event?
  • Do you have old Albany newspapers, scrapbooks or clippings?
  • Do you have old school yearbooks, brochures from public events, maps, or other documents and memorabilia of historical interest?

If the answer is yes, please consider donating these precious materials to the Albany Library, where they will be preserved for future generations to enjoy and study.

Now, with the advent of digital technology, it is even possible to share your personal mementos with the library without having to donate them. With your permission, we can borrow your materials, scan them, and add them to our historical collection on the Web, while you keep possession of the originals.

If you are interested in donating historical materials to the collection, please contact the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany, CA 94707.

Phone: 510-526-3720
Send us an e-mail message

Keyword Search

Enter any words related to the material you wish to find, then click SEARCH.


  Jerome Blank
  Peralta Park Hotel
  Solano Avenue


Search Tips

If you type more than one word it will be treated as a phrase. For example, if you type

      Peralta Park Hotel

you will find records that contain the words " Peralta Park Hotel" exactly as typed.

To enter words so that they are not treated as a phrase, type AND between each word. For example, if you type

      Peralta Hotel

you may not find any records, but if you type

      Peralta and Hotel

you will find all records which contain the word "Peralta" and the word "Hotel."


Words may be right-hand truncated using an asterisk.

Use a single asterisk * to truncate from 1-5 characters.

Use a double asterisk ** for open-ended truncation.

For example, if you type

Solano Ave*

You will find all records containing "Solano Ave." and all records containing "Solano Avenue."

Searching the Collection

  • Search by KEYWORD
  • BROWSE an alphabetical list of photograph TITLES
  • BROWSE an alphabetical list of SUBJECT HEADINGS

Searches will result in a listing of relevant catalog records. Each record contains a thumbnail image and information about the photograph. To see a larger version of the image, click on the thumbnail.


Rights and Restrictions

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in the collection are the property of the Albany Library. Neither the original photographs nor the digital images in the catalog may be used on the Internet, published, or used in any other way without the expressed, written permission of either the Albany Library or the copyright holder. Contact the Albany Library for access to the original photographs or high-resolution digital scans suitable for printing. One copy of the digital image in the catalog may be printed for personal use only, including school reports. The credit line, "Courtesy of the Albany Library Historical Collection" should accompany any such use.

How You Can Help

  • Can you help us identify some of the people, places and events in these photographs?
  • Are you aware of an error in the information we have provided for a photograph?
  • Do you have photographs or other materials pertaining to the history of Albany that you would like to donate or lend to the Albany Library?

If so, please contact the Albany Library, 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany, CA 94706.

Phone: 510-526-3720
Send us an e-mail message


Albany Library Historical Photograph Digitization Project

In the fall of 2001, the library received a grant from the State Library for a Historical Photograph Digitization Project. During the project year 2001-02, more than 600 photographs from the local history collection were scanned and made available on the World Wide Web through the Alameda County Library web site. Federal funding for this project came from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA), administered in California by the State Librarian.

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