Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Archives?

The Archives house Santa Clara County government documents ranging from 1850 to the 2000s.  For further information about what documents are located at the Archives, please see our Collections page.

Who can visit the Archives?

Everyone! We have had visitors from all over California, and from many different states. Whether you are doing historical research, genealogical research, or would just like to know more about the history of Santa Clara County, you are welcome to visit - appointment required.

Can I get a birth, marriage, death or divorce record at the Archives?

No. All birth and death certificates from 1873 to present and marriage certificates from 1851 to present are located at the Clerk-Recorder's Office. All divorce records are at the Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Can I get copies of historical records at the Archives?

Researchers are welcome to bring a camera to take photographs of documents (at the discretion of the Archivist). The Archives cannot provide photocopies of Clerk-Recorder documents; copies can be obtained at the Clerk-Recorder's Office . The Archives cannot provide certified copies of documents. Email the Archives for more information about obtaining copies.

Can I volunteer at the Archives?

Yes. If you would like to share your skills to provide valuable service to the community and meet great people, get in touch with the Archivist to learn more about current volunteer opportunities by e-mailing [email protected]

Can I donate to the Archives?

Yes. We can receive three different types of donations.

  1. We welcome donations of historical materials pertaining to the County government. These can include official County government documents, documents that are the product of County government activities, personal papers of county officials, or personal papers of individuals and organizations of  historical value to the County. These materials can be paper based, photographs, electronic records, video recordings or sound recordings. On occasion we accept historical artifacts. If you would like to donate historical materials please contact the Archivist to see if your materials fit with our mission and collection policies. The Archivist can then explain the donation process.
  2. We welcome donations of history books about the County, official publications of the County, and publications from local historical/genealogical groups. 
  3. We may receive monetary donations. Contact the Archivist for more information. 

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