March 2014 Meeting – Program: What’s New (and Old) at the O.C. Archives – Speaker: Chris Jepsen

O.C. Archives, courtesy Chris Jepsen

Get a “virtual backstage tour” of the Orange County Archives, learn about some recent additions to its collections, and see a new selection of rare historic photos at the OCHS general meeting on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., 2400 N. Canal St. in Orange. Our speaker is OCHS president Chris Jepsen, whose day job finds him serving as Assistant Archivist at the O.C. Archives.

Although its mission is partly to identify, collect, preserve and make available records of the county’s history, the Orange County Archives is more than its name might imply. A central hub for Orange County history, the Orange County Archives is a research center open to the public, and its collections belong to the people of Orange County.

The majority of the Archives’ records come from county government, beginning with Orange County’s separation from Los Angeles in 1889. However, the resolution that created the Archives also provides for the collection of “historical materials which are not official County records but which document the history of Orange County.” This has allowed the Archives to build a collection that is not only extensive but diverse.

Chris Jepsen at O.C. Archives

The Archives is a division of the Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department, located in the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd. It is open on weekdays (except holidays), 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. During these hours, Archives staff members are on hand to help anyone and everyone find their way through more than 120 years of records in order to solve various historical, genealogical, and legal mysteries.

In addition to these duties, staff members also organize historical exhibits, speak in public on subjects relating to county history, and sometimes help provide guidance for historical projects undertaken by county agencies or commissions.

Our speaker Chris Jepsen has served as the Assistant Archivist at the Orange County Archives since 2003. He loves his work, collecting and preserving historically significant materials, and helping people discover the history of their families, homes and communities. Chris, a local historian who is author of the O.C. History Roundup blogspot and the “O.C. Answer Man” columnist of Orange Coast Magazine, is also an avid photographer and president of OCHS since the 2011-2012 membership year.

For more information about the Archives, visit, call Chris at (714) 834-4771, or just stop by for a visit.