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  Shadi History Room

The Dorothy and Sundar Shadi History Room is the archive of the El Cerrito Historical Society. In the Shadi Room the Society maintains a broad collection of printed and electronic information about the history of El Cerrito and the surrounding area. In addition to containing the Society’s collected materials on El Cerrito and the adjacent communities, the Shadi Room is the primary repository of historical information on the following subjects:

- The Chung Mei Home and its successor institutions (Western Baptist Bible College, Armstrong Preparatory School, and Windrush School.) In the Shadi Room are a number of diagram, blueprints, documents, and photos of these institutions, including unique images of the early days of the Chung Mei Home in El Cerrito and very rare images of the Chung Mei Home and residents when the home was still located in Berkeley.

- The family and adobe of Victor Ramon Castro and the settlement of Rancho San Pablo. The Society’s collection includes a large number of photos of Victor Castro’s adobe. The Society also has a number of relevant documents about the Castro family as well as the unique set of papers and materials collected by Frances and Earl Conley, renown researchers of Rancho San Pablo.

- The Japanese Nursery Community in West Contra Costa County. The Historical Society has a comprehensive collection of photographs as well as documents that chronicle the history of the Japanese community and nurseries in West Contra Costa County as well as in the Bay Area.

The Society has an excellent collection of materials on the Technical Porcelain and Chinaware Company (TEPCO) and a very good collection of El Cerrito High and Portola yearbooks. We have a wide variety of local history books in the Shadi Room, Great Registers, and local newspapers covering a wide range of years.. The Society also maintains in the Shadi Room a number of interesting and significant reference documents (both in printed and electronic format) about the earliest days of the Spanish settlement of California.

The Shadi Room is located on the second floor of City Hall; it’s the first door on the right when exiting the elevator. (City Hall is located at 10890 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito, at the corner of Manila.) The Shadi Room is open to the public on the third Thursday of the month from 4:30 to 6 PM. It is also open by appointment. You can contact the Historical Society by email at: elcerritohistoricalsociety@yahoo.com.

You can also call Tom Panas at (510) 526-7507 for more information. Click here to see the Shadi Room Reference Policy (the rules and policies for the Shadi Room.)