History Room

In the Mill Valley Public Library

All About the The Lucretia Hanson Little Local History Room

History Room at the Mill Valley Public Library

History Room at the Mill Valley Public Library > click to enlarge

The History Room houses a special collection of vintage photographs, paintings, books, maps, oral histories and other historical documents, depicting life in Mill Valley and the surrounding area, through the decades since the beginning of recorded history.  The History Room opened in 1977, when then City Clerk, Lucretia Hanson Little, donated her personal collection of local photographs and other memorabilia, including the city government archives, to the Mill Valley Public Library.  Since that time, the library has continued to support and manage the History Room and gather additional historical photographs and documents to add to the collection.  Besides collecting historic information from local publications, the History Room actively encourages members of the local community to donate their photographs, letters and other documents depicting life in Mill Valley through the years.

Mill Valley Library History Room - Mail Wagon

Mill Valley Library History Room – Mail Wagon > click to enlarge

Today, the History Room collection includes 6,000 photographs, 500 maps, 200 oral histories, several thousand books and magazines and hundreds of thousands of letters, brochures, advertisements, newspaper clippings and many other documents.  Besides extensive files on places and events, the History Room collection also includes biographical information on thousands of current and former Mill Valley residents, houses, buildings and local businesses.  Additionally, the History Room also maintains a collection of books written by local authors on any subject.

Beginning in 2005, the History Room commenced a major project to digitize many parts of the collection.  That digitization project continues today and will probably continue for many additional years. History Room staff are busy entering data, images and many types of documents into the library’s Past Perfect Museum software.

Mill Valley Library History Room - Dipsea Race Showcase

Mill Valley Library History Room – Dipsea Race Showcase > click to enlarge

Many of the photographs, maps, oral histories and other information from the History Room’s collection will soon be publicly accessible on the library’s web site using the Past Perfect online retrieval software. The History Room promotes local history by supporting research and making historical information accessible to the public.  Additionally, as part of the public library operated by the City of Mill Valley, the History Room preserves and maintains the city archives.  The History Room also works closely with the Mill Valley Historical Society, the Mill Valley Art Commission and other prominent groups with a strong interest in local history.

Staffed primarily by volunteers from the community and student interns from local graduate level library study programs, the History Room open hours vary day to day, but the objective is to have the room open and accessible to the public for as many hours as possible. You can visit the library’s History Room website HERE.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for the History Room please contact the History Room Librarian Cate Mayfield.