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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 Collection pages.

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.

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). Some documents can be photocopied at the Archives for a fee. 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. Call the Archives at (408) 755-7895 for more information about obtaining copies.
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.
    Clerk-Recorder records can no longer be viewed at the Archives.
    All property records can be accessed at the Clerk-Recorder's Office at:
    70 W. Hedding St.
    1st Floor, East Wing
    San Jose, CA 95110
    (408) 299-5688

Last updated: 6/9/2020 12:57 PM