Institutional Resources

Primary source documents—that is, materials generated by Peoples Temple members, government agencies, relatives and family members, and others directly connected to the historical events of Peoples Temple and Jonestown—are available through several venues beyond this website.

Researchers will find online catalogue records for primary source materials relating to Peoples Temple in Worldcat, http://www.worldcat.org. Guides or finding aids to larger collections that provide more detailed information may be searched in the Online Archive of California (OAC) at http://www.oac.cdlib.org.

The California Historical Society (CHS) is the chief repository for materials related to Peoples Temple. These materials include organizational and personal papers, legal documents, financial records, and photographs. CHS currently holds many individual collections that form the Peoples Temple Collection. The California Historical Society at http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org is located at 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, California 94105. The North Baker Research Library is open to the public, but researchers are encouraged to email or call ahead for hours prior to visiting. Contact the Library by email at reference@calhist.org or call 415-357-1848 ext. 228.

The Special Collections at San Diego State University Library and Information Access has the “Peoples Temple Collection” MS-0183 here. The SDSU Special Collections maintains a complete archive of all transcripts and audiotapes, and maintains other documents and papers, some of which are unique to the collection, and some of which duplicate materials held at the California Historical Society. Contact Special Collections by email at scref@rohan.sdsu.edu, or call 619-594-6791.

A final place to find primary sources about Peoples Temple and Jonestown is the American Religions Collection (ARC) at the Donald C. Davidson Library of the University of California, Santa Barbara, http://www.library.ucsb.edu/special-collections/collections/american-religions-collection. J. Gordon Melton gathered items that were generated by Peoples Temple, which include church bulletins, newsletters, flyers, and correspondence. For more detailed information on materials in ARC, call the Special Collections office at U.C.S.B. 805-893-3062.

Last modified on March 11th, 2014.
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