Preserving, understanding and interpreting the past.
The Contra Costa County Historical Society, founded in 1951 by Louis L. Stein and Justice A.F. Bray, is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and provide public access to the records and heritage of Contra Costa County.
The Society operates the History Center in downtown Martinez, California, where the County archives are stored and our staff does its work. These archives are available to the public for research on anything from family history and genealogy to legal research, property title searches, or local history research. Our archives include newspapers and newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, books, government records and reports, court case files, and family papers from prominent local families, among many other items.
We receive funding through memberships, fees for services, grants from private foundations and government agencies, donations from individuals, and an annual stipend from the Contra Costa County government.
A staff of dedicated volunteers performs our historical work, such as processing donated material, storing it archivally, cataloging and entering data into our ever-expanding online database, and assisting with research requests. Our archives were donated to us by family estates, government agencies, local businesses, other historical societies or organizations, and individuals, with the first major acquisition coming from photographer and pharmacist Louis L. Stein. This collection was extensive and provided the foundation for the archives.
Officers & Board of Directors
Past Society Presidents
A. Frank Bray, Sr.
Roy S. Bloss
A. Frank Bray, Jr.
Kathleen J. Mero