Calisphere is the University of California's free public gateway to a world of primary sources. More than 200,000 digitized items — including photographs, documents, newspaper pages, political cartoons, works of art, diaries, transcribed oral histories, advertising, and other unique cultural artifacts — reveal the diverse history and culture of California and its role in national and world history. Calisphere's content has been selected from the libraries and museums of the UC campuses, and from a variety of cultural heritage organizations across California. See the list of contributing institutions.
Calisphere is a public service project of the California Digital Library (CDL). Through the use of technology and innovation, the CDL supports the assembly and creative use of scholarship for the UC libraries and the communities they serve. Learn more about the CDL.
Designed for Classroom Use
A variety of primary sources have been collected into sets that support the California Content Standards in History-Social Sciences, English-Language Arts, and Visual Arts for use in K-12 classrooms. These collections of primary sources make it easy for teachers to find the materials they need quickly:
- Themed Collections: Primary sources organized into historical eras with brief overviews that provide historical context.
- California Cultures: Images of four ethnic groups — African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics Americans, and Native Americans.
- Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive: Personal and official documents, transcribed oral histories, and works of art bring viewers inside the Japanese-American internment experience during World War II.
- Local History Mapped: Five maps overlayed with hundreds of historical photographs show the diverse history and geography of California.
- Browse A-Z: This alphabetical list of terms selected from the California Content Standards makes it easy to locate primary sources for classroom use.
Especially for Teachers: Information and links about teaching and learning with primary sources, including sample lesson plans, primary source analysis sheets, and more.
Access to Hundreds of UC Web Sites
Calisphere is a single point of access to more than 500 UC web sites that explore the diverse interests of the University of California campuses. This collection of web sites covers subjects ranging from history, math, literature, and anthropology to film, contemporary art, marine sciences, medical and health issues, and much more.