Sherman Library is a historical research library specializing in the history of the Pacific Southwest – including southern California, Arizona, northern Mexico and adjoining areas. The Library’s collections document the development of the region through books, archival collections, photographs, maps, aerial photographs and newspapers. Sherman Library is also home to a collection of California impressionist art, including works by William Wendt, Edgar Payne, Clarence Hinkle and Anita Hills.
Sherman Library’s book collections encompasses more than 15,000 volumes, including a large collection of city directories for California cities. Highlights of the archival collections include the papers of Moses H. Sherman, the Colorado River Land Company records, the Tejon Ranch records, and the Dana and Ginger Lamb Papers. The Library also holds the papers of the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society, relating to the Southern Pacific Railroad. Photograph collections include the Wilbur Sawyer Photograph Collection, the C. B. Waite Collection, and the Neal Beckner Collection and Newport Beach Historical Society collection.
Sherman Library also has a significant collection of materials relating to Newport Beach. The Guide to Newport Beach Historical Collections at Sherman Library details these collections.
Sherman Library is open to the public, however, we are a non-circulating library so materials must be used on site. Individuals wishing to use manuscript, maps or photograph collections must register. It is strongly encouraged that uses of archival collections make an appointment before visiting. Commercial firms using the city directory collection must also register and pay a daily research fee. Members of the public may use the collection free of charge. For additional information on Sherman Library’s policies, see our access policy.
Sherman Library’s Archival Collections listing contains more detailed information for prospective researchers.