Nevada County Historical Society

Celebrating & Preserving the History of Nevada County, California, Since 1944

Historical Society Annual Awards Nomination for 2024

Active members of the Historical Society are invited to nominate candidates for the Citizen of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Distinguished Service awards. The nominations for these awards will be reviewed by the Awards Committee, composed of members of the Board of Directors, who will make the selections. The awards criteria, a list of previous awards recipients, and a nomination form are below. It is important that you carefully review the awards criteria so that your nomination is suitable for the award category that you choose.

Searls Library Photo Search & Preview

The Searls Historical Library has over 30,000 of historical photos celebrating Nevada County’s history, with large collections from Nevada City and Grass Valley and many other locations, including over 2,000 beautiful glass-plate photographs and 4,000+ family portraits. Now you can search, preview and buy these online!

Online Book Store

The Nevada County Historical Society has a wide selection of history and local interest books for sale, celebrating our history and the stories of families from our community. Now you can buy these online!

NCHS members get a 10% discount off all photo and book sales.

Search and Explore Searls Historical Library Online

Nevada County’s largest collection of historical records, including photos, property and court records, old maps, wills, letters and books. Over 633,000 index records in all! The documents, records and photos themselves are only  available in person, but you can now start you research online and explore 170+ years of Nevada County, Nevada City, and Grass Valley history.

Join or Volunteer

Become a member or renew your membership now. 
We are looking for volunteers. Find out more about volunteer opportunities!


Find many useful research links and access thousands of Nevada County historical photos, books and maps at the Searls Historical Library.

Coming Events

Learn more about the Historical Society and local history by attending our free, monthly membership meetings and informative historical programs.

Visit Our Library & Museums

Admission and tours are entirely free!

Searls Historical Library

Searls Historical Library

Open 1pm – 4pm, Monday – Saturday

The archive of the Nevada County Historical Society. Established in 1973, the Searls Historical Library has become one of the premier libraries of materials on the area’s history… more

Nevada County Railroad Museum

Open 10am – 4pm, Saturdays and Sundays

Located in Nevada City, California, the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation of local transportation history and artifacts from the narrow gauge railroad era… more

Firehouse No. 1 Museum

Open 1pm – 4pm, Wednesday – Sunday

Completed in the Spring of 1861, the Firehouse No. 1 Museum was home to Nevada Hose Company No.1 from 1861 to 1938. During those nearly 80 years, horse -drawn fire wagons and handcarts… more

North Star Mining Museum

Open 12pm – 4pm, Wednesday – Sunday

Intimately connected with the many aspects of gold mining in Nevada County, California, the North Star Mining Museum includes exhibits of mining artifacts, pelton wheels, a working Stamp Mill and… more

Support a Worthwhile Cause

Your generous contributions help to preserve Nevada County history for our future generations.