California in Print

Highlights from the Eleanor McClatchy Collection

Join us in welcoming our newest exhibit, California in Print: Highlights from the Eleanor McClatchy Collection.

Early California immigrants brought the latest printing technology with them to record and communicate their ideas. The printed media introduced California to the world during a time when this distant land was still a captivating mystery.

The new exhibit is installed in the newly christened R. Burnett Miller Gallery on the museum’s third floor. Reflecting the ways Californians chose to document their lives through printed media. This collection recounts stories of adventure, hardship, discovery, and triumph, and highlights how perceptions of this new paradise evolved over time.

The colorful exhibit showcases rare items and collectibles from the Eleanor McClatchy Collection that were donated to the City of Sacramento and the Center of Sacramento History.

Eleanor McClatchy (1895 to 1980) was the granddaughter of James McClatchy who became editor of The Sacramento Bee in 1857, its founding year. Later, Eleanor went on to preside over the newspaper from 1936 to 1978. In addition to helping run the family newspaper business, she was an avid collector of California history. While only a small percentage of her important and impressive collection is on display, the exhibit highlights priceless items such as original Gold Rush era maps showing where gold could be found, first-edition rare books printed in California, letter sheets from 1850s miners, a page from the Gutenberg Bible, dime novels from the 1870s and 1880s, and more.