Interested in Oakland History? Not sure where to start?

General Resources (see below for topics in Oakland history)

"East 14th and Fruitvale Avenue, 1910" From Oakland District Handbook by Nancy Curns. 1984. Available at Oakland History Room.

  • Right here on the wiki! Here is the main article about Oakland history which includes alllllllll the pages labelled "history" on the wiki (there are over 300!).
  • Oakland: The Story of a City by Beth Bagwell is considered the "definitive" one-stop history book about Oakland. It is available at many branches of the library and also in a newly reissued edition at stores like Walden Pond Books. Check out more books about Oakland.
  • Oakland History Center - a treasure trove of books about Oakland and primary resource archives. Located on the second floor of the main branch of the Oakland Public Library (14th and Oak).
  • Oakland Heritage Alliance - this is Oakland’s main historic society. They have frequent events about lots of different neighborhoods and eras in Oakland's history. In summer they lead history walks around Oakland, and in winter they host lectures on different history-related topics.
  • Oakland Walking Tours - Held during the summer, these walking tours in different areas in Oakland are both very informative and great exercise! And they're free!
  • Oakland Urban Paths walks - The 2nd Saturday of every month, OUP leads walks around Oakland, focused around the urban paths and stairways that were created to connect people in neighborhoods to the Key System streetcars. Last month's was focused on "Borax" Smith. More walking than the OHA and downtown tours, and they're free!
  • Mountain View Cemetery tours - The 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, docents lead walks around Mountain View Cemetery focused on different aspects of the cemetery, and always with a lot of history. And they're free! Second Saturdays are general overview tours, and fourth Saturdays featur different subjects of interest to the docents.
  • Bibliography of Oakland - Wikipedia collection of Oakland resources by subject and date
  • National Register of Historic Places in Alameda County, California
  • Old Oakland maps on - series of historical maps from 1877, 1912, etc. through the current day. This can be very useful for seeing what street names used to be, who owned certrain tracts, etc. Find an area in the modern day map, then flip backward through the years to see the changes.

Digitized Online Archives

One Oakland Wiki volunteer uses a spreadsheet to keep track of their progress in historical City Council research. 

Digitized Books

  • Past and Present of Alameda County California Vol. 1, History Vol. 2, Biographies - 1914. An e-book digitization of a history book by Joseph E. Baker published in 1914. Digitized, searchable in e-book form, with photos.
  • The Bay of San Francisco: The Metropolis of the Pacific - 1892, Lewis Publishing. Digitized, searchable in e-book form, with photos. It's about all of San Francisco, but includes "historical sketches" about a number of Oakland residents.

Online History Projects

Topics in Oakland History

Check out the Topics in Oakland History a page for a list of ideas to create entries on.

Black History

  • African American Museum and Library: they have a special collection on local black history, including oral histories, newspapers, diaries, etc. 
  • Oakland History Room: they have a small but excellent collection of resources, including: The Pullman Porters and West Oakland by Thomas and Wilma Tramble; Blacks in Oakland (1852-1987) by D. E. Hausler; West Oakland Oral Histories by interviewer Bill Jersey; Blues City by Ishmael Reed; From Blacks to Brown and Beyond by Robert S. Oden; an archive of black newspapers from the early 1900s, etc.