October is National Archives Month, a time to recognize the importance of preserving historical records.

Archives are repositories of primary source documents. The Sonoma County Archives, located in the Los Guilicos complex off of North Pythian Road in Santa Rosa, houses official records of deeds, mortgages, wills and probate records, property assessments, voter registration, oaths of office, surveys, maps, corporation records and business licenses, some dating back to the 1840s.

On Oct. 14, 2017, a branch of the Nuns fire came within a quarter-mile of the 3,800-square-foot warehouse, providing a wake-up call for library staff and government officials.

During the past year, Sonoma County Library staff participated in disaster prevention, response and recovery trainings designed specifically for those who care for valuable and, in many cases, irreplaceable historic records.

With the help of a California Preservation Program collection preservation assessment grant, a priority checklist was made of the rarest and most essential items to be saved in the event of a future evacuation.

The county and city of Santa Rosa records housed at the archives are available to the public upon request.

For more information, visit sonomalibrary.org.

See some of the rare and priceless artifacts housed at the Sonoma County Archives in the gallery above.