California was admitted to the Union in 1850. That same year, the state legislature established the California State Library, recognizing the need for accessible facts, figures and documentation to support decision- and policy-making.
Today, the State Library stands as one of California's great public research institutions. The library's California History Section makes available for public use an extensive collection of graphic materials including historic photographs, prints, posters, pictorial letter sheets, drawings, maps, postcards, promotional brochures, sheet music, plates and illustrations found in rare books and rare periodicals, and other visually appealing documents. In addition, the library has a comprehensive collection of rare illustrated books.