Scope and Content
Arrangement of the Collection
Title: Clyde Arbuckle California History Research Collection
Date (inclusive): 1840-1996
Collection number: CR-2010-04-15
Arbuckle, Clyde, 1903-1998
101 linear feet
San José Public Library, California Room
Abstract: The Clyde Arbuckle California History Research Collection represents the regional history of San Jose and Santa Clara County,
California. This collection contains rare books, scrapbooks, news clippings, photographs, historic newspapers, correspondence,
various pamphlets and printed matter, facsimiles of original documents relating to the early history of San Jose, California,
and abstracts of title for property in and around San Jose, California. Notable among the documents in this collection are
handwritten letters by J. B. Randol, manager of the Quicksilver Mining Company as well as the overland diary of a Milpitas
woman named Marion W. Battey. This collection has been minimally processed. The collection contains documents relating to
a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the Donner Party to San Jose's Police Department to Santa Clara County Ranchos. There
is an alphabetical index for Series I. Subject Files.
California Room's Vault 4
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
Although San José Public Library's California Room does physcially own all archival materials in its possession, it does not
necessarily own the intellectual property rights (copyright) associated with all items (Title 17, Chapter 2, Section 202,
"Ownership of copyright as distinct from ownership of material object). Publishing materials from our holdings requires written
permission from the San José Public Library, along with proper credit given to our institution. For permission to publish
or reproduce, please contact the Lead Librarian of the California Room. Users may reproduce materials for teaching, research,
and private study in accordance with fair use on the condition that they give proper credit to the California Room, San José
[Identification of item], Clyde Arbuckle California History Research Collection 1840-1996, CR-2010-04-15, California Room,
San José Public Library.
Clyde Arbuckle was the official City Historian for San Jose, CA for over 50 years. Given the relevance of the collection
to Santa Clara County history, a recommendation by the San Jose Historic Landmarks Commission was made to the San Jose City
Council to purchase it. On May 13, 1998 the Rules Committee agreed to appropriate funds in the 1999-2000 city budget. The
collection was acquired by San Jose Public Library in May, 1999.
Processing and guide prepared by Diana Kohnke. Guide encoded by Diana Kohnke, 2010.
Clyde Arbuckle was the descendent of one of the earliest Anglo families in Santa Clara County, California. His father was
the owner of the Santa Clara Hotel and his half brother was the silent film actor Fatty Arbuckle. Clyde Arbuckle attended
he California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA, and shortly after began writing free-lance for the Pony Express magazine.
Clyde Arbuckle also was an accomplished road bicycle racer and on April 3, 1921 broke the United States record by biking 60
miles, from Gilroy, CA to San Jose, in two hours and 45 minutes.
In 1929 Arbuckle joined the Masonic Lodge in Santa Clara and became a member of their history committee. He not only wrote
a history of the lodge, but contributed and edited the Centennial History of the Masonic Lodges for the State of California
in 1950. In 1945 Clyde Arbuckle became the official City Historian for San Jose, CA and in that capacity served as the director
of the San Jose Historical Museum. He was City Historian for over 50 years, as well as the secretary of the Historic Landmarks
Commission until 1970.
Clyde Arbuckle wrote several books, including Clyde Arbuckle's
History of San Jose: The Culmination of a Lifetime of Research, Historic Names of Persons and Places in Santa Clara County
(written with Roscoe D. Wyatt), and Santa Clara County Ranchos
. In addition to this, Arbuckle wrote articles in various Western history periodicals and also a column in the San Jose Mercury
News that ran from 1970 to 1973 called "Nostalgia," which detailed historic people, places, and sites. Arbuckle was a co-founder
of The Conference of California Historical Societies. Later in life, Clyde Arbuckle taught history classes and guided tours
of the Oregon and California trails.
Clyde Arbuckle died in January 1998 and the collection was subsequently acquired by San Jose Public Library's California Room
The History of San Jose and Surroundings: With Biographical Sketches of Early Settlers. San Francisco, CA: A L Bancroft and Co., 1871.
Clyde Arbuckle: A 90 Year Biography. San Jose, CA: Memorabilia of San Jose, 1993.
Sawyer, Eugene T.
History of Santa Clara County California.Los Angeles, CA: Historic Record Co., 1922.
Scope and Content
The Clyde Arbuckle California History Research Collection primarily represents the regional history of San Jose and Santa
Clara County, California. This artificial collection was assembled by Clyde Arbuckle throughout his lifetime. It contains
rare books, scrapbooks, news clippings, photographs, historic newspapers, correspondence, various pamphlets and other printed
matter, facsimiles of original documents relating to the early history of San Jose, California, and abstracts of title for
property in and around San Jose, California. Notable among the documents in this collection are handwritten letters by J.B.
Randol, manager of the Quicksilver Mining Company as well as the 1852 overland diary of a Milpitas woman named Marion Battey.
The collectoin contains documents relating to a wide variety of specific subjects ranging from the Donner Party to San Jose's
Police Department to Santa Clara County ranchos. Additional subjects represented in this collection are materials on viticulture,
local women's organizations, railroads, historic maps, surveys, the 1915 San Francisco World Fair, images relating to the
San Jose Police Department 1849 through 1983, and a 1924 San Francisco Chamber of Commerce pamphlet.
Arrangement of the Collection
This collection is arranged into 10 series: Series I. Subject Files, 1860-1996; Series II. Correspondence, 1847-1996; Series
III. Yearbooks, 1905-1930; Series IV. Miscellaneous Items, 1852-1967; Series V. Ephemera, undated; Series VI. Masonic Materials,
1931-1963; Series VII. Abstract of Titles in Santa Clara county, California, 1871-1925, 1955; Series VIII. Scrapbooks, 1920s-1980s;
Series IX. Historic Newspapers and Journals, 1892, 1903, 1906-1936; and Series X. Postcards, undated.
The following terms have been used to index similar items in the Library of Congress.
Land title--California--San Jose.
Overland journeys to the Pacific.
San Jose (Calif.)--History.
Removed or Separated Material
The following collections have been processed separately: The Pueblo Papers, Clyde Arbuckle Postcard Collection, Historic
Photograph Collection, SJPL California Room, Clyde Arbuckle Historic maps, and Townsend Family Papers, 1826-1914.