Unique primary source materials in Calisphere

Calisphere provides free access to unique and historically important artifacts for research, teaching, and exploration. The items in Calisphere are primary sources that record evidence of the past, and preserve valuable historical material for interpretation and analysis; these materials are not limited by topical, geographic, or subject scope. 

Calisphere aggregates digital collections from cultural heritage organizations in California–each with their own specific collection emphases, which may be informed by local history, activities, research interests, or other topics significant to its communities. 

Calisphere is committed to providing broad public access to primary sources for historical research and understanding, informed by best practices and community values regarding access to historical materials. Learn more about the collections in Calisphere, including how primary source records are described; how shared community values and standards guide access to historical materials; how we strive to provide responsible access to digital primary sources--and how you can help!

Form/Genre considerations

Calisphere does not have a form/genre scope requirement. However, there may be topical or regional aggregations that are better suited to support a particular form/genre type. Please let us know if you are interested in including materials in the following forms/genres, and we can discuss these on a case-by-case basis: 

  • Serials
  • Scholarly publications 
  • Theses & dissertations
  • Research data
  • Digital newspapers

Contractual, copyright, privacy, and ethical considerations

Please do not share materials through Calisphere if making them publicly available would result in the following:

  • Copyright infringement, defamation, or breach of agreements with third parties.
  • Violation of federal, state, or other privacy rights. This includes content with clinical or personally identifiable information (PII) whose disclosure would constitute a violation of HIPAA/HITECH, FERPA, or other similar statutes, regulations, or laws.
  • Exposure of culturally sensitive materials that are confidential, sensitive, or sacred in nature.

Note: We occasionally receive feedback from users via the Calisphere "Contact" page, offering additional information about published items, description, or metadata. Examples include: reporting an error in the metadata; identifying an item that should not be online due to legal, ethical, or other considerations; and sharing information on an item's copyright status. We'll take an active approach to ensure that our contributing partners are also informed of these inquiries; we will relay this information to the designated key contacts at the contributing institutions in a timely manner, and confer on a potential response and strategy.

Access considerations

We recognize that some primary source materials cannot be made broadly and openly available on the web, and only portions of the resource can be made available online and/or access to the resource may have restrictions and require mediation (e.g., researchers must contact your institution to request access to the full item).

If your institution is contributing collections to Calisphere, and the materials have access conditions, please indicate the terms of access within the metadata records. Also consider including the terms of access within the context of a thumbnail images (or the content files) that can be made publicly available, and/or including a link in the metadata records to your institution's website (or associated finding aid/collection guide) with guidance for researchers on requesting access to the resources.