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Guide to the City of Berkeley Records, 1878-1954
BANC MSS C-A 200  
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Collection Overview
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The City of Berkeley California records (1878-1954) consist of records from the city clerk's office. The collection includes records relating to the business of city government, such as the city charter, reports, town attorney opinions, city council minutes, planning commission information, correspondence, tax sale rolls, indices, financial records, agreements, leases, bids, ordinances, and petitions. It also contains police and fire department reports, information on public utilities including natural gas, water, electric power, lighting, and discussion of municipally owned utilities. Additional documentation including street infrastructure, street railways of the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Key System Transit Company, the wharf and harbor, school construction, Civil Works Administration projects, and clippings are included in the collection. The contents are somewhat inconsistent over sporadic periods of time, however, a range of documentation on late nineteenth and early twentieth century Berkeley is available.
The City of Berkeley, California was incorporated on April 1, 1878 from two distinct settlements. Much of the area surrounding Berkeley was given the Peralta family as a land grant from the Spanish king in 1820. After the gold rush and California statehood in 1850, the large ranchero should have stayed in the Peralta hands. However, the large ranchero's unoccupied land quickly filled with Americans, using "squatter's rights" or a right to occupy empty land. Confusion over rights to the lands was finally settled in 1877, but by that time the land was already settled and the Peralta family sold their remaining land.
11 Cartons, 46 Volumes, 4 Oversize folders (18.5 linear feet)
Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright.
Collection is open for research.