Are you interested in Researching Your House? When was it built? Who were the first owners? There are a variety of resources available to help you.

The short answer is: go to the Oakland History Room at the main Oakland Public Library. They have old Sanborn insurance maps, old directories, and a wealth of knowledge about how to research your home.

The longer answer is:

  • read Researching Your House on the Oakland Heritage Alliance website
  • learn a bit about the history of your neighborhood. Was it settled early in Oakland history, or later? Was it originally another town?
  • remember that street names and sometimes addresses in Oakland have changed. Check these historic maps of Oakland
  • the Sanborn insurance maps are available at the Oakland History room as noted above. They're also available online for free from the San Francisco Public Library. You just need an SFPL card, which is free; it just requires a trip to the SFPL to get one
  • old directories (including some reverse address directories) are available on the Internet Archive
  • talk to your neighbors. They may know some history, or know someone who does