Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

March 20, 2013
Two rich collections of historic Sacramento photos, images and ephemera

Clegg photo 1918.JPGIn the art world a "found object" is something that wasn't intended to be artistic, but can be appreciated as art in the right context. The same is true for artifacts that weren't intended to be historic, but in the passage of time become so.

By coincidence two local collectors with a passion for Sacramento history are independently sharing old snapshots, postcards, advertising and other found ephemera on the social media sites Facebook and Tumblr.

Vintage Sacramento, maintained by graphic designer Will Peterson, "was created so that we can share memories of our city." Most of the items on the site were picked up over the years at "garage sales and flea markets." Peterson says he developed an interest in Mid-century Modern architecture and design from having grown up in an Eichler-style Streng home near American River College. Vintage Sacramento is heavy on photos of the city from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

Sacramento History is hosted by Anthony Cathey who's "been seriously collecting for about a decade," scouring "online auction sites and area antique stores" for the odd, but interesting item. Cathey generally adds two or three images a week to his Tumblr site which is filled with vintage black-and-white snapshots, colorful postcards and the occasional menu, coin or receipt. This collection tips toward the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Both Cathey and Peterson see the value of displaying their treasures with the public rather than keeping them shut in a box. They encourage their readers to post comments and their own scanned items to the sites.

PHOTO CREDIT: Unidentified woman enjoying downtown Sacramento on July 4, 1918. Photo contributed to The Bee's History User Photos by D. Clegg

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About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at

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