Secretary of State Debra Bowen today unveiled a unique online catalog that gives researchers and history buffs around the world access to information about the acclaimed collections preserved in the California State Archives. 

The online catalog, named "Minerva," gives descriptive details of all types of records stored in the State Archives, from maps and court cases to legislative papers and photographs.  Minerva replaces a paper-based recordkeeping system and is updated almost daily with the latest information about the Archives' collections.

"Minerva is a dynamic goldmine for historians, journalists, students and anyone else who just love California history," said Secretary of State Bowen.  "Minerva offers a real-time listing of everything we have on hand in the California State Archives, whether it's a videotape we've just received or an old map we've been storing for decades."

Several years in the making, Minerva is the result of expert input from dozens of archivists and information technology professionals.  Minerva integrates all internal State Archives functions for appraising, accessioning, processing and other workflow management.  It also offers the public the ability to search or track collections from any computer with Internet access, and connects users to the Archives' reference desk for more information.  The new website is http://minerva.sos.ca.gov.

"Until now, people had to come to Sacramento if they wanted to find an up-to-date listing of everything available in the State Archives," continued Bowen.  "Minerva is tailored to meet the high-tech needs of modern-day Archives users.  It makes government records more accessible to the general public and makes research more efficient for professionals."

Secretary of State Bowen is charged with securing and preserving the historical records of state government and providing access to those records.  Located in Sacramento, the California State Archives facility houses the original California Constitutions, the State Seal, all official acts by the Legislature, many case files of the California Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as records of numerous Executive Branch agencies. The California State Archives holds approximately 232 million pages of records.

Minerva, the Roman mythological goddess of wisdom, is prominently featured on the official California State Seal.