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Inventory of the State Treasurer Office Records
F3903, R225, F3353, F3872  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History
  • Scope and Content
  • Accruals
  • Related Collections at the California State Archives
  • Oral Histories
  • Related Materials at other Repositories
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: State Treasurer Office Records
    Inventory: F3903, R225, F3353, F3872
    Creator: California. Office of the State Treasurer
    Extent: 521 volumes, 58 file folders, 95 items
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    While the majority of the records are open for research, any access restrictions are noted in the record series descriptions.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Office of the State Treasurer Records, [ID number]:[file number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the State Treasurer Records according to state law.

    Agency History

    Article Five of the 1849 California Constitution established the Office of State Treasurer. Like the State Controller and the Attorney General, the State Treasurer is an administrative office in the executive branch of State government. The Constitution provided that Treasurers be elected to office, with terms coinciding with that of Governor. Initially two years, terms increased in 1862 to four years.
    The State Treasurer acts as California's official banker (Chapter 5, Statutes of 1850 and Chapter 9, Statutes of 1850). The Treasurer's duties, which include five principal functions, have changed little since the office was established. They include responsibility for maintaining custody over all State cash and securities; overseeing investment of State funds; preparing, selling and redeeming State bonds issued; making payments on Controller's warrants and overseeing the financial operations of local districts and public agencies to make sure their securities are sound.
    During the 1930s, the Treasurer's office was compartmentalized into four accounting subdivisions. Income received was managed by the Receiving Department while the Warrants Department handled all payments made on State warrants. The Bond Deposit Department managed the issue, flotation and repayment of bonds, as well as bond purchases made for state agencies or accounts. Bonds held in trust for state agencies and securities on deposit from banks, insurance or investment companies were handled by the Vault Department.
    In 1950, the Centralized Treasury Trust System was initiated by the State Legislature to function as a commercial bank operated by the Treasurer for the benefit of agencies. The Centralized Treasury Trust System expanded the Treasurer's control over all State monies. The Treasurer's duties were further increased in 1955 with the establishment of the Pooled Money Investment Board, a committee formed to supervise cash management and short term investment programs (Chapter 297, Statutes of 1955). Since that time, more funds are supervised and more bonds issued by the California State Treasurer than by any government agency in the U.S. except the federal government.
    The Treasurer's office grew from a staff that included a single clerk in 1849 to seven employees in 1900. By the early 1980s, over two hundred employees worked in this department, which was composed of seven functional subdivisions and an executive office. The subdivisions included Public Information, the Legal Office, District Securities, Administration, Cash Management, Investments and Trust Services divisions. The District Securities department reviews and approves fiscal operations of state irrigation and water districts. Internal operations like personnel, budgeting and data processing are handled through the Administration division. Cash receipts and payments are supervised by the Cash Management division, while long and short term investment planning take place in the Investments division. Finally, bond sales and redemption and related activities are supervised by Trust Services. A division chief heads each of the seven divisions and reports to the Treasurer through the Chief Deputy State Treasurer.

    Scope and Content

    The records of the Office of the State Treasurer consist of 521 volumes and 58 folders of textual records, as well as 95 items. The records reflect the Treasurer's work overseeing the financial operations of different public agencies and districts, maintaining custody over all State cash and securities, paying on Controller's warrants, and redeeming and selling State bonds. The records, dating from 1850 to 1966, are organized into eight record series, [(1) Administrative Records, (2) Accounting Records, (3) Disbursement Records, (4) Bond Records, (5) Bonds Held in Trust Records, (6) State Land Sales Funds Records, (7) Securities on Deposit Records, and (8) Miscellaneous Records] comprised of 61 subseries. Some of the record series document the financial aspects of the Indian Wars, the building of the Central Pacific Railroad, and California's participation during the Civil War.


    Further accruals are expected.

    Related Collections at the California State Archives

    Assembly Select Committee on the Office of the State Treasurer Records
    California Districts Securities Commission Records
    Office of the State Treasurer unprocessed records, numerous accession numbers. Please consult California State Archives staff.

    Oral Histories

    Bert A. Betts, Oral History Interview, Conducted in 1987 by Jacqueline S. Reinier, California State University, Sacramento, for the California State Archives, State Government Oral History Program.
    A. Ronald Button, "California Republican Party Official and State Treasurer of California, 1956-1958," an oral history conducted by Sarah Sharp, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, 1979.

    Related Materials at other Repositories

    Antonio F. Coronel (1817-1894) Papers, Seaver Center for Western History Research, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California. Office of the State Treasurer
    Finance, Public - California