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Sonoma Valley Historical Society Zoom lecture series

By Brandon Sparks

The Sonoma County Archives are one of the most important repositories for the county, as they hold the story of Sonoma and how it fits into the history of not only the state, but also the nation.

On March 13 at 2 p.m., The Sonoma Historical Society will hold a special Zoom event. Join Katherine Rinehart as she presents the Sonoma County Archives. She will be discussing the history of the archives and how they came to be, along with their current state, as they have been through multiple fires in the last three years that almost resulted in their destruction.

Rinehart is the Sonoma County Heritage Network chair, co-chair of the Advocates for the Sonoma County Archives, and former Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library manager.

The archives’ contents include more than 5,000 cubic feet consisting of photographs, giant maps and drawings, boxes, bound volumes, and many other items comprising government records of Sonoma County, including the history of the cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma, along with the history of Sonoma Valley. The archives used to be held at a former juvenile detention facility in Los Guilicos, but in 2018 they had to be moved because the building they were in lacked environmental control. Currently, the archives are under the protection of the Sonoma County Library, as they also contain several collections that were donated to the library by private organizations and individuals.

The Glen Ellen Historical Society (GEHS) is also currently embarking on a project to digitize the collection that is being stored in Glen Ellen. For the future, the GEHS is working to re-establish a museum at the Sonoma Superintendent’s House on the Sonoma Developmental Center campus at Eldridge. The museum would house the many Eldridge artifacts collected by retired administrator Teresa Murphy, in addition to memorabilia of Sonoma Valley, a library of approximately 6,000 books from Eldridge, and a visitors center. The Sonoma County archives could also find a spot at the museum alongside the GEHS’ archives.

The GEHS has developed an Eldridge Historic Area Proposal that has been submitted to land planners for consideration of all of these elements for future plans for the Eldridge property.

Email [email protected] for details on registration for this lecture series.