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This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford, Thelma Berkey Walsmith, and Nell Sachse Woodard in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Several books are helpful in researching the evolution of California. Warren A. Beck’s Historical Atlas of California (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1975), available in many libraries, provides a basic map reference at different points in California’s history. William O. Bright’s classic work, 1500 California Place Names: Their Origins and Meaning (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), is an excellent resource for place-names and the history behind them.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) website offers topographical maps of California for sale at <www.usgs.gov>. The California USGS office is at Placer Hall, 6000 J St., Sacramento, CA 95819-6129.