Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk County Archives – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
You can view most documents electronically for no fee on the public
kiosks at any of our office locations. If you identify a record or
records that you would like to view in person, you may email the
archives and provide us the details of the record(s). We will then
check to see if we have the original in our holdings and if it is
publicly available. If it is, we would be happy to set a time for you
to come in and view the documents in person.
While some of our collections are comprehensive (for example, the
maps, which are filed for record and recorded), not all our
collections are complete; some of them have gaps. You may visit our landing
page on the Online Archive of California’s website for a list of
the records managed by the ARCC County Archives.
The ARCC County Archives program was created in March 2020 to be the
central repository for all Recorder/County Clerk Official Records with
permanent retention and enduring historic value. We are continuously
in the process of identifying and transferring those historic Official
Records that belong in the Archives’ collections.
Examples of record types include affidavits of election expenses
(1926-1946), certificates of sale (1870-1900), chattel mortgages
(1860-1920), declaration of homestead (1860-1931), deeds (1846-1918),
delinquent tax lists (1958-1973), executions (of property, 1952-1960),
historic documents, indexes, land and water contracts (1889-1890),
leases (1869-1934), miscellaneous records, official bonds (1867,
1871-1931), patents (1850-1930), recorded maps, registers of
certificates of title (1850-1930), registry of public agencies,
separate property of married women (1871-1930), sole trader listings
(1856-1918), tax sales to the state of California (1892-1893), Torrens
certificates (1919-1955), water claims (1883-1928, 1950), and wills
(1848-1938). This is not an exhaustive list. For a full list of the
records managed by the ARCC County Archives, visit
our landing page on the Online Archive of California’s website.
In short, we do not currently collect records from County departments
other than the Recorder/County Clerk. We hope to one day.
The County Archives at the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk’s office
is responsible for the long-term preservation of print and paper-based
Official Records with permanent retention (for example: legal
documents, maps) and historic Vital Records (birth, death, and
marriage certificates) that are a part of its holdings, pursuant to
sections 27231, 27300 and 66466(e) of the Government Code.
Official Records are defined in California Government Code 27300(a)
as the permanent archival record of all instruments, papers, and
notices as accepted for recording by a county recorder.
We do not have a comprehensive list of all records that are available
electronically. However, customers may search and view most recorded
documents on the public kiosks (computers) located at all ARCC
office locations. Available documents include deeds (1845-1930),
grantee/grantor indexes (1846-1969), miscellaneous records,
miscellaneous records index, numeric index (1872-1973), Official
Records (1931-1989), and recorded maps. Click
here for limited access to our Official Record Index.
We are continuously working towards making more documents available
in an accessible electronic format.
All requests for copies of records at the Archives must be routed
through the Recorder/County Clerk. You may request copies of recorded
real property documents online, in person, or by mail. Requests for
copies will be fulfilled after payment is received. Please visit the
Recording page for the most current information.
For information on how to request certified copies of birth, death,
and marriage certificates, please visit the Birth/Death/Marriage
Certificate page here.
Appointments are not required to visit the Assessor/Recorder/County
Clerk (ARCC) County Archives. However, you may wish to communicate
your needs to an archivist prior to arriving at the facility. This
will allow the archivist time to prepare for your visit. You may
request an appointment by emailing us at email@example.com.
All requests for copies of records must go through the
Recorder/County Clerk. Visit the Recording
page, and see the Copies tab.
Records in the ARCC County Archives cannot be checked out. Please
send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for
questions related to loans and/or exhibits.
Our focus at the ARCC County Archives is to facilitate access to
public records. We are unable to conduct research on behalf of patrons.
The records of the ARCC County Archives may contain copyrighted
material. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S.
Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
Our preferred citation is as follows:
[Identification of item], [Collection title]. [Collection number].
San Diego County Archives, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk (ARCC).
Subdivision Map 952, San Diego County Map Collection. RCC/MAP05. San
Diego County Archives, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk (ARCC).
In short, we do not accept donations of personal records at the ARCC
The ARCC County Archives is the central
repository for the permanent retention of the official archival
records of the Recorder/County Clerk. To this end, we receive
transfers of permanently valuable Official Records at the Recorder’s
office to preserve, arrange and describe these records so that they
are accessible to the public according to sound archives management
principles and practices. Official Records are defined in California
Government Code 27300(a) as the permanent archival record of all
instruments, papers, and notices as accepted for recording by a county
recorder. We do not collect records outside of this scope.
Section 6252(e) of California Government
Code defines a public record as “any writing containing
information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared,
owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of
physical form or characteristics.”