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Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder logo

Riverside County Archives

Robert J. Fitch Archives

The County of Riverside Board of Supervisors established the Robert J. Fitch County Archives to identify, preserve, describe, and make available records of enduring value relevant to the government of the County of Riverside. Serving as both a repository for these unique documents and as a public resource center, the County Archives provides not only access to its collections, in accordance with applicable laws, but also assists with locating other archival government records in the possession of the various county departments and agencies.

The purpose of the Riverside County Archives program is to identify, collect, preserve, arrange, describe records of historical significance relevant to the County of Riverside and County government, and to educate the public as to their use. The Archives serves as both a repository for these unique documents and as a resource center open to County staff and to the public. Materials relating to the history of the County and surrounding areas of influence are also collected to assist with the interpretation of these records and to place them in the context of the overall growth and development of Riverside County.

History of the Archives Commission

Acting upon the final report of the Riverside County Centennial Advisory Board, the Board of Supervisors established the Riverside County Archives Committee on December 20, 1994. Originally the Archives Committee was advisory to the Riverside County Historical Commission with staff support provided by the County Regional Park and Open-Space District.

On September 23, 1997 the Board of Supervisors elevated the Riverside County Archives Committee to full commission status, creating the Riverside County Archives Commission. The Board directed that, "it shall be the duty of the Commission to advise and make recommendations to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors concerning the development of the County Archives, the preservation of County historical records, documents and objects."

Staff support is provided by the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Department.

Robert J. Fitch Archives Mission

The County of Riverside Robert J. Fitch Archives shall identify, collect, preserve, and make available the County’s documentary heritage of records of permanent value. In order to accomplish these tasks, the County Archives shall follow generally accepted standards of archival practice. The County departments work with the County Archives as applicable to develop procedures that balance the need to preserve records of permanent value with continuing department business needs for access to them.

Archive Commission Goals

The Archives Commission recognizes that, according to the decision of the County Board of Supervisors, "it shall be the duty of the Commission to advise and make recommendations to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors concerning the development of the County Archives, the preservation of County historical records, documents, and objects." To carry out this mission, the goal of the Archives Commission is to work with the Riverside County Assessor-Clerk-Recorder and all County staff associated with the Archives, to make sure that appropriate materials are preserved in the Archives, and that those collections are accessible to the public. The Commission is also dedicated to informing the public about the existence and usefulness of the Archives.

Seven tips to preserve your documents

Open to the public, the County of Riverside Robert J. Fitch Archives serves a broad range of interests and users, including: County staff, independent researchers, students, historians, and writers. Those seeking to research historical property ownership and valuation, mining or water interests, or actions taken by the Board of Supervisors beginning in 1893 will find original documents in the Archives to assist them. Primary resource materials from other County Departments will be added in the future. Please contact the County Archives for further information.

The Robert J. Fitch Archives for the County of Riverside, California encourages you to preserve your family memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photos, etc.  Here are seven tips to ensure proper care and management of your historic keepsakes:

1.) The best way to protect your photographs

  • The best protection for your photographs, newspapers, campaign buttons, tickets, printed programs, or even bumper stickers is a cool, dry, stable environment (for example, moderate temperature and humidity with relatively little fluctuation, clean air and good air circulation, no natural or fluorescent light, and good housekeeping).

2.) Avoid heavy moisture areas

  • Valuable paper collections do not belong in your attic or basement, which commonly are subject to excessive heat and/or moisture. Avoid storing materials beneath or close to such water sources as washing machines, bathrooms, or air-conditioning equipment. And be sure to consider what is in the room above your collection.
3.) Avoid heat sources
  • Heat causes damage. When displaying your framed photos, newspapers, invitations, and other memorabilia, don’t hang these valuable items over radiators, heating ducts, heat-producing appliances, or fireplaces. Anything with long-term value should be housed away from heat sources.
4.) Avoid direct sunlight
  • Light causes fading and other damage. Keep photos and other memrabilia “in the dark” as much as possible; don’t put them in direct sun or bright light. Hallways or other rooms without windows are best. Install shades and/or heavy curtains where you can’t avoid windows. If you must display an item in direct sun or bright light, consider obtaining a high-quality scan and displaying the digital print instead.
5.) Glass and Plastic covering
  • Indoor pollution rapidly damages paper and is a growing problem in energy-conscious spaces with good insulation. Any valuable photo or paper-based document on display should be protected by a preservation-quality mat and frame. The glass or plastic covering, which protects the item from pollutants and dirt, should contain UV filtering.
6.) Leaving documents unfolded
  • Photos, letters, clippings, and other family documents should be stored unfolded because folding and unfolding breaks paper along the fold lines. Storing photos and documents in folders rather than envelopes is recommended because envelopes can cause damage as items are removed and replaced.
7.) Photographic Activity Test (PAT)
  •  When considering whether to use paper or plastic enclosures for your photos, select enclosures that pass the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). This test ensures that the enclosure will not react chemically with your photos. Supplier catalogs should indicate whether a photographic storage product has passed the PAT. To read more about the PAT, see the Image Permanence Institute’s “Archival Advisor” web page at
Archive Catalogs
Alessandro Irrigation District – Certificate of Sales
Assessor’s Map Books
Assessment Roll
Beaumont Irrigation District – Certificate of Sales
Coachella Valley Water District– Certificate of Sales
Chattel Mortgage
East Riverside – Certificate of Sales
Elsinore Water District – Certificate of Sales
Fee Book
Ladera Irrigation District – Certificate of Sales
Official Records
Ordinance Book Flood Control & Water Conservation
Perris Irrigation District Certificate of sales
Property Ownership Records
Real Property -Mortgagees
Record of Collateral
Record of Survey
Release of Mortgages
San Jacinto & Pleasant Valley– Certificate of Sales Index to Abstract of Mortgage
Index to Bank Assets
Index to Bank Stock
Index to Chattel Mortgagees
Index to Chattel Mortgagors
Index to Grantees
Index to Guarantors
Index to Homestead
Index to Irrigation District
Index to Leases
Index to License Surveys
Index to Maps
Index to Maps and Plat Books
Index to Map and Land Book
Index to Record Survey
Index to Mortgagees
Index to Notice of Action
Index tot official Bond
Index to Release of Mortgage
Index to Transcript of Judgement

Contact Information

Other Resources

Working to Preserve Riverside County Recorded History -

Ensuring a Link Between Past, Present, and Future Generations.