Best Place to Brush Up on Local History

The Oakland History Room in the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library

Probably one of the more underused resources in the East Bay (except by academics and the odd, informal fact-finder), the History Room in the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library is a positively rich repository of local history. Located on the library’s second floor, the history room contains items such as yellowed newspaper clippings and old photographs chronicling everything from Oakland birth and death records to the history of the city’s lakes and creeks — much of which can be pored over and photocopied by amateur and professional historians alike. Visitors to the room can view rotating historical exhibits and dig for answers to burning questions like, “What on earth is that weird old windmill doing up near 60th and Telegraph?” and, “Did Oakland really used to have a streetcar line?” And if ever you need help exploring, a friendly librarian is always on hand to help you along the way.

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