Museum Homepage

The San Mateo County Historical Association
Online Collections Database

The mission of the San Mateo County Historical Association is to inspire wonder and discovery
of the cultural and natural history of San Mateo County.

We operate three historic sites: the San Mateo County History Museum in downtown Redwood City, the Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica and the Woodside Store in Woodside. Our Archives, located at the San Mateo County History Museum, are open free to the public for on-site research. Please check our website for the hours of operation.

To begin viewing our online collections you may use the buttons on the left or:

Browse all of our collections at once: Simply select Random Images to scroll through pages of images from our collections. To see a larger image view, click on the image. To view the full record and all images associated with it, select the text below the image.

Browse or search items within a single collection:

Archives Photos Objects

Search by topics of interest: If you already have a general topic or subject in mind that you would like to search, you may select Keyword Search and then type in a word or phrase to search for related items.

We are in the early stages of posting our collections online so please check back frequently to see what new records and images have been added. Read on to view additional tips for searching our online collections.

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Objects)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.