Division of Special Collections
Hours of Operation: Tuesday 1pm-5pm and Wednesday-Saturday 10am-12pm & 1pm-5pm, closed major holidays
For information or to schedule a visit: (909)798-7632 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Special Collections division is as diverse as the history of California itself. The primary collections focus upon themes, events, and individuals who contributed to the ongoing history of Redlands and Southern California. In addition to California-related collections, the division also stewards the Abraham Lincoln and Civil War collections of the Lincoln Memorial Shrine.
The Special Collections division is open to the public and seeks to serve a variety of interests: Researchers, Students, Writers & the Casual Visitor. Although walk-ins are welcome, specialized researchers may find their needs better met by calling (909) 798-7632 for an appointment with an archivist.
Resilient Redlands: COVID-19 and Our Town
A.K. Smiley Public Library is embarking on a new project to document life in Redlands during the outbreak and bring programs to you at home. Led by the Library’s Division of Special Collections, “Resilient Redlands: COVID-19 and Our Town” will both reach out to the community to collect the experiences that define this moment in time, and reach you at home through a weekly webinar series.
We want to know how the pandemic has affected your life. The Redlands community is invited to share their experiences through photographs, stories, poetry, works of art, or anything that can be shared electronically that documents life during COVID-19. Submissions will become part of the Library’s COVID-19 remembrance collection.
Share your experiences through the new “Resilient Redlands” portal that allows you to upload photographs and documents, and answer a few questions about adjusting to life in this time of uncertainty. If email is your preference, please send these items to the Heritage Room at email@example.com. In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, submissions can only be accepted electronically at this time. Submit your memories here.
If you crave opportunities to learn during your time at home, partake in the “Resilient Redlands” webinar series that will focus on topics related to Redlands history and the collections of the Lincoln Memorial Shrine. Webinars will take place each Saturday at 11am and will be led by the staff of A.K. Smiley Public Library and Lincoln Memorial Shrine. To register and for information on future topics, visit the Library’s events page.
Zoom Virtual Background
Find backgrounds for your virtual meetings and get-togethers courtesy of Smiley Library here.
If you have any questions, please contact the Heritage Room at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1972, the Archives of A.K. Smiley Public Library strives to collect, preserve, and make available historical materials relating to Redlands, San Bernardino County, Southern California, and the West. So, whether you are new in town or a lifelong resident, the Archives offers a variety of ways to explore Redlands.
Explore our Collections…
The California Collection covers a wide range of subjects dealing with the history of Redlands, San Bernardino County, California, and the West. There are separate collections which house rare books and autograph books.
This collection began in 1910 by a gift from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie to honor his friend Albert K. Smiley. It includes rare and selected volumes primarily on the Native American tribes of California and the Southwest.
The substantial pamphlet and ephemera collection contains catalogued items relating to Redlands, San Bernardino County, and California. The material ranges from the 1860s to the present.
Early California magazines, including Out West and Land of Sunshine, are available alongside contemporary publications and historical society quarterlies.
Dating from as early as the 1850s to recent topographic maps, the map collection focuses on California, San Bernardino, and the Redlands area.
The newspaper collection is one of the largest of local and regional newspapers in Southern California.
Local newspapers include:
The Citrograph, Redlands’s earliest newspaper, has been indexed from 1887-1896
Redlands’s long-running newspaper, the Redlands Daily Facts has served the community since 1890
The Redlands Daily Review began in 1901 and merged with the Facts in 1919
The Colored Citizen served Redlands’s African American community between 1905 and 1906
El Amigo del Hogar focused on Redlands’s Spanish-speaking community at the turn of the century
The California manuscript collection consists of thousands of pieces written by significant historical figures. Subjects include Redlands and San Bernardino County, as well as Southern California deserts, mountains, water development, and citrus.
Over 100 oral histories of individual community members document their lives and experiences. Researchers utilize both audio and transcripts to add another dimension to understanding Redlands history. Two major oral history projects are “Citrus & Service” and “Citrus, Labor, and Community in East San Bernardino Valley.”
Whether you are curious about how Redlands looked in the past or would like to relive the city as you remember it, the photograph collection has thousand of images that show the city throughout its long history.
The collection affords researchers a variety of subjects, relating to the history and development of Redlands, as well as the rest of California.
While these items are not available online, you can always make an appointment to access the collection in the Heritage Room.
The expansive citrus collection tracks the rise of the citrus industry in California and its role in the development of Redlands as a major citrus center. The collection includes citrus labels, financial journals, growers’ records, and much more.
The extensive art collection of the A.K. Smiley Public Library includes original works depicting scenes of Redlands, California, and the desert. Collection highlights include works by local artists Worden Bethell, Jean Cranmer, and Hazel Olsen.
#CLIR Water Project
A.K. Smiley Public Library is part of the Digitizing Southern California Water Resources Project, a 3-year collaborative digitization project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).
The collaboration forms a regional network of Southern California private and public institutions that demonstrates our commitment to leveraging our individual strengths (collections, subject knowledge, and professional expertise) and technical infrastructures towards the open proliferation of water heritage collections. See Smiley Library’s contributions to the project here.
Major Collections Include…
- A.K. Smiley Family Collection
- City of Redlands Collection
- Gerald A. Smith Indian Collection
- Nordhoff – Morrison – Stillman Collection
- Citrus Industry Collection
- Watchorn Family Collection
- Lincoln Memorial Shrine Collections
- Home Movie Preservation Project
The former Redlands Daily Facts building is the future home of the Museum of Redlands
The Redlands Historical Museum Association and the Special Collections of A.K. Smiley Public Library work to collect, catalog and preserve items related to the history of Redlands. Please contact the Heritage Room at (909)798-7632 for information on how you can contribute. Arrangements can be made for pick-up of donations.
Visit the Museum of Redlands website.