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In 1979, Keith Lingenfelter, a family history researcher from Red Bluff California, donated a large group of family research records he had compiled to the Meriam Library Special Collections department. Among these papers were nearly 50,000 names of the early immigrants who lived in Tehama County, or nearby Butte, Colusa, Shasta, and Glenn Counties, gathered from records from 1850 through the mid Twentieth Century. Resulting in 34 boxes divided by research subject headings, this collection is open for researchers.
Tehama County Historical Images
California Digital Newspaper Collection – CDNC at UC Riverside
This collection contains 132,960 issues comprising 1,290,418 pages and 14,418,937 articles. You can access the collection by going to http://cdnc.ucr.edu/
Local History Card Catalog
Limited indexing of Tehama County subjects found in newspapers, student papers and other publications. This index is complete through 1985.
A collection of photos organized on catalog cards, most with a snapshot of the original. In most cases we have a negative and larger copy of each catalogued photo which can be used for reproduction. We also have a large collection of uncatalogued photos. Special arrangements may be made to have a professional photographer copy a photo at your expense.
Kraft Vertical Files
Articles, newspaper clippings and local history biographies and ephemera are also organized in general subject files, many of which are indexed in the Local History Card Catalog and noted as KVF for Kraft Vertical Files. Ask a librarian for assistance in accessing the KVFiles.
Almost all newspapers published in Tehama County between 1857 to the present are available on microfilm at the Red Bluff branch library, with the exception of the Corning papers which are kept at the Corning branch. Newspapers are not indexed by story or subject matter but arranged by chronological date. Therefore research is easiest if you have a date certain or at least as narrow a date time frame as possible. Articles, obituaries, pictures, etc., can be photocopied for a fee.
The Red Bluff and Corning branches have actual current copies of the Red Bluff Daily News, Corning Observer and Wall Street Journal. Also in Red Bluff the San Francisco Chronicle and the Redding Record Searchlight. These copies are retained from 4 months to a year and photocopies of articles may be made on the public copy machine.
Magazines & Journals
Publications of state, regional and local historical societies, usually including cumulative indexes are available for reference use in the library.
A large 1878 wall map of Tehama County showing place names and property ownership is in the Red Bluff branch. A similar 1923 map is located in the Recorder’s Office in the County Courthouse. The library has late 19th and early 20th Century Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Corning and Red Bluff on microfilm. Various other Tehama County historical and plot maps as well as northern California topographical maps and world atlases are available for reference use.
Telephone Books, City & County Directories
The Red Bluff branch has a hand-typed Tehama County telephone book for 1910 and then regular Tehama County telephone books dated from 1920 to the present. The library maintains a current reference copy of most California telephone books as well as selected directories for major cities in Nevada, Oregon and Washington, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Red Bluff maintains selected Red Bluff City Directories, dated as early as 1884, and various city directories between 1936 to 1990, which are available for reference use.
United States Federal Census for Tehama County 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 are available in Red Bluff on microfilm. The 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses have been indexed. The 1940 census will not be available to index undil 2012. The 1850 census for California is in book form and may contain names of families living here prior to 1856, the date of Tehama County’s charter. As the 1890 census is not available, researchers use the 1890 Great Register of Voters for Tehama County.
Selected student papers known as the Osborne collection from Red Bluff High School local history classes of the 60’s and 70’s covering general and family related subjects are available for reference use in the Red Bluff library.
High School Yearbooks
The Red Bluff branch has random reference copies of many Red Bluff Union High School yearbooks (Dictum Est) dated from 1898 through 1996 and on microfilm from 1898 through 1968. The Corning branch has random reference copies of many of the Corning High School yearbooks (Cardinal) dated from 1919 through 1988. The Los Molinos branch has reference copies of many of the Los Molinos High School yearbooks (Cinders) dated from 1937 through 1980.
The library has cemetery lists for the Oak Hill and Sacred Heart cemeteries in Red Bluff current through November 1, 2007 and lists of burials for other county cemeteries such as Sunset in Corning, Manton, Cottonwood and Belle Mill (Lyonsville).
The most current and comprehensive history of Tehama County is Tehama County 1856-2006, 150 years of photos and history, published by the Tehama County Genealogical and Historical Society, 2008. Each branch has circulating and reference copies of this book.
Two general local reference works or outline of pioneers are: Leaves of the Past, 1829-1880, a Pioneer Register , Including an Overview of the History and Events of Early Tehama County, compiled by Ruth Hughes Hitchcock, 1964-1980. Microfiche organized in two parts: (1) Pioneers and (2) Subjects, with a bibliography of sources indexed.