The mission of the Orange County Archives is to collect and preserve materials documenting the history of Orange County, and to make this material available to researchers, academics, students and the general public. The Archives serves as a center for the research of Orange County history through the promotion and understanding of the origins of the county, as well as some of the more fascinating people who had an indelible impact on the county's identity and growth. Our goal is to create a 21st Century Archives; a place where people can come to learn about Orange County and its rich history.
The Orange County Archives were established by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1983 and opened in 1984 as part of the County Records Center.
In 1985, the Archives were transferred to the Orange County Public Library.
In 1992, the Archives moved into the historic Old Orange County Courthouse.
In 1995, as a result of the Orange County bankruptcy, the Library transferred the archives to the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s office. Over the next eight years, the Archives were open limited hours and by appointment only.
In 2003, newly elected Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly brought the Archives back into full operation, providing staff, equipment, and resources to make the collection fully available to the public.
Each year, the Archives is visited by thousands of researchers, students, county residents and visitors.