In what would become a three year journey, the Sacramento County Clerk Recorder preserves our history from as far back as 1849 – prior to California’s statehood – by restoring thousands of historical maps of Sacramento County.
“Restoring these maps has shed light on some of the history of Sacramento County, and preserving it for future historians and generations is invaluable,” said David Villanueva, Acting Clerk Recorder.
The project began June 2011 and was completed December 2013; in that time all 43,300 maps and documents were restored with the help of KOFILE, Inc.
Document restoration of this kind can be a complex and lengthy process; where a single map can require up to 15 to 20 hours of work. First, they are submerged in a water-based solution to de-acidify and neutralize the paper to ensure the quality of the map for up to 500 years or more. Tools such as sanders, irons and air spray guns are then used to loosen and remove adhesives, and reattach official seals.
Part of the restoration process includes digitizing the documents. Creating an accurate and clear representation of these maps is a key part to make them accessible to residents. The maps are a valuable tool for residents, and critical for property owners, to determine where a property lot begins and ends.
Maps are available for viewing during regular business hours. “This project helps provide document access the public is entitled to have as well as preserving the original documents for the future,” said Louise Martinez, Chief Deputy Clerk/Recorder.
For hours and locations of County Service Centers to view public documents, visit the Sacramento County Clerk Recorder website.
Writer: Danielle Spang, Communication and Media Intern