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Finding aid of the Great Registries
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Great Registries
    Dates: 1877-1928
    Collection number: 2006-017
    Creator: Registrar of Voters
    Collection Size: 27 bound books
    Repository: Santa Clara County Archives.
    San Jose, CA 95112-2527
    Abstract: This collection contains the Great Registries from 1877-1928 for Santa Clara County.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Archives staff.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Archives can claim physical ownership only for some collections. Users are responsible for securing permission of the copyright holder for publication or quotation.

    Preferred Citation

    Great Registries, 2006-017, Santa Clara County Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    The records were transferred to the Archives by the Registrar of Voters in 2006.

    Administrative History

    In 1866 California established the Great Registry Act which provided "for the registration of the citizens of the State, and for the enrollment in the several election districts of all the legal voters thereof, and for the prevention and punishment of frauds affecting the elective franchise." From this the Great Registry was created. All eligible voters were required to register. Women were able to register in 1911 but do not begin to appear in the registries until 1912.
    The Registrar of Voters is a government agency whose main purpose is to ensure federal, state and local elections are conducted timely, responsibly, and with the highest level of professional election standards, accountability, security and integrity, intended to earn and maintain public confidence in the electoral process.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists of the Great Registries of Santa Clara County from 1877-1924. The Registries are arranged alphabetically by registered voter up until 1900. Registries from 1900 on-ward are organized alphabetically by precinct with an alphabetical listing of voters within each precinct. Registries from 1916 on-ward are organized by two separate registries: one registry for the County and one for the City of San Jose but maintain the organization of precinct with an alphabetical listing of voters within each precinct.
    Each registry contains the following information: name and address and political affiliation. Several of the registries will also include the following information: date of registration, occupation, age, color of eyes, color of hair, complexion, gender, height, visible marks or scars, naturalization date and location, country of nativity, political affiliation, precinct, proprietor or head of house, room, floor, ward, able to read the Constitution in English, able to write name, physically able to mark ballot and nature of disability if any.


    The arrangement for the Great Registries is chronological by year.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Voter registration--California
    Santa Clara County (Calif.)
    Santa Clara County (Calif.)--History
    Santa Clara County (Calif.)--Registers