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Collections at the Arizona State Archives
The Arizona History and Archives identifies, collects, preserves and provides access to the historical manuscripts, government records, books and photographs of Arizona and its peoples.
Arizona Revised Statutes (41-1339 and 41-1340) mandate that Arizona State Archives is the official repository for official, permanent government records. If you or your employer (state, county or local government office) hold permanent records documenting the history and activities of your employer and you no longer wish to care for those records please contact the Arizona State Archives at (602) 926-3720.
Interested in donating material to the Arizona State Archives? We collect materials that document Arizona's rich heritage that includes: information about the important people, issues, places, and events that make up the story of Arizona’s history. Additionally, we collect records that remain useful for the Legislature, state agencies, and the general public because those records make government accountable to its citizens; provide evidence about public policies and programs; and protect or verify individuals’ rights and entitlements. If you have any documents, photographs or other resources that fit within these categories, please consider donating them to the Arizona State Archives. You may contact us at (602) 926-3720.
The Arizona State Archives contains four basic types of collections: archival collections, oral histories, photograph
collections and the Arizona Collection. Below are selections from each of our four types of collections. This is not a complete list of holdings.
- Looking for Wyatt Earp’s mines?
- Want to know why Uncle Jake got hanged?
- Researching public policy?
- Want to know where the phrase “You have the right to remain silent came from?
- Searching for your grandparents’ marriage license?
The Archives houses permanently valuable records that begin with the creation of the Territory in 1863. Territorial and State agency records include material from boards, commissions and departments as well as the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Local records include materials from county and city governments.
Archival materials in the State Archives cover a wide range of topics including:
Subjects within Arizona history include:
- Law & Disorder
- Great Depression
- Women’s History
Key Collections include:
- Governors’ papers
- Secretaries of the Territory and State
- Department of Water Resources
- Department of Corrections
- W. P. A. Federal Writers’ Project
- Territorial and State Legislatures
- Newspapers (1859- )
Subjects within family history include:
- Birth certificates more than 75 years ago
- Death certificates more than 50 years old
- Criminal & Civil Cases
- Estate & Wills
- Property Records
Key collections include:
- Department of Health Services
- County Superior Courts
- County Recorder
- County Assessor
We also hold manuscript collections, including (but not limited to):
- William Frank Witherell
- George W. P. Hunt
- George Hebard Maxwell
- Frank Luke, Jr.
- Arizona Press Women
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The Arizona State Archives holds a number of oral history collections. These collections include:
- Equal Rights Amendment: Interviews with people who either worked for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment or against it.
- Arizona Legislators: This collection contains interviews with Arizona legislators regarding their term(s) in office and the key issues facing their legislative sessions.
- Staff of the Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records: This collection contains interviews of members of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records regarding their duties and the institutional history of the agency.
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Our photo archives include private collections and images created by state and local government agencies.
These represent unique documentation of the governmental and cultural history of Arizona including photographs from most legislatures beginning in 1875.
Among our featured collections:
- C.S. Fly’s glass plate negatives from the Indian Wars, 1880s Tombstone and Sonora
- Thomas Bate’s photos of Prescott, Fort Whipple and Arizona’s Native American communities
- Governor George W.P. Hunt Collection
- Joseph Fish Collection
- James McClintock Collection
- 1923 Colorado River Survey with mile by mile panoramic images from Lee’s Ferry to the west end of the Grand Canyon
- 1914 State Land Survey
- Arizona Highway Department images documenting highway construction from 1915 to 1967
- 1930s W.P.A., C.W.A. and E.R.A. New Deal projects
- Legislative photographs
- 2,000 pre-1920 postcards
- 20,000 digital images on-line at http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/landingpage/collection/histphotos
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The Arizona Collection features many materials not generally available elsewhere.
- Book collection covering a wide range of subjects related to Arizona and the Southwest.
- SIRSI online catalog at http://www.azlibrary.gov and click on Library Catalog. Note: there are hundreds of items not yet on SIRSI.
- Areas of strength include older Arizona history titles, Archaeology, Indians of Arizona, City and county budgets and audits, County materials, e.g. traffic safety studies.
- Unusual items, e.g. Annual Reports of Predatory Animal Control Operations and Rodent Control (1917-1965).
- City directories.
- Arizona high school and college yearbooks.
- Bancroft’s Works (vols. 1-39)
- World Almanac (1894-present)
- Periodical collection including many older editions from the Arizona Historical Review to Wrangler.
- Index to selected Arizona newspaper subjects from 1865-1986 arranged chronologically.
- Biographical and subject vertical files including a separate collection of Arizona state legislators.
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