ANCHR started in 1971 when a group of local citizens came together to stop the deterioration and destruction of county records. Previous to that, if a researcher wanted to use these records, they needed a lot of luck just finding them. The county records were jumbled together and housed in a dirt-floor basement several blocks from the old Butte County Courthouse. Several counties had similar stories. With the help of California State University, Chico Meriam Library, ANCHR was able to collect, catalog, and preserve these precious records. This collection was maintained safely at CSU, Chico for over 30 years.
Then in 2002, loss of storage space at the university and changes in state laws encouraging maintenance, physical control, and public access of these historical records by the county. Because of its foresight, ANCHR was able to return its entire collection of records to the various county offices. ANCHR also worked with five other counties to return their records to them.
Today, ANCHR’s mission is to support Meriam Library and its Special Collections department in acquiring and preserving historical documents—papers, photographs, maps, and more—relating to Northeastern California (Siskiyou, Modoc, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Plumas, Yuba, Sutter, and Butte). We also support research and offer publication assistance for local history researchers and authors. Our aim is to encourage more writing about local history, and to make these works available by publishing them so people can enjoy them.
Local historical records are the foundation for the writing of local history, and local history is the foundation for regional and national history. It's what makes an area come alive. No longer do historians recognize history as just the exploits of prominent people, but as the story of ordinary men and women who staked their lives and fortunes to the future of a town, city, or region. ANCHR plays an essential role in encouraging the continued study of the history of Northeastern California that leads to a wider understanding of our national heritage as well as our lives-past and future-as Californians.
ANCHR produces at least one new publication each year that focuses on some aspect of local history. Previous books have covered such diverse topics as military forts, Native Americans, pioneers, businesses and industries, and the experiences of Blacks, Chinese, and Japanese who helped settle this region.