COMMONS ARCHIVE thrives on the support of many organizations, community groups and neighbors. Initiated by artist team marksearch, it is part of Kala Art Institute’s Print Public, a dynamic program that invites artists to work on interdisciplinary projects with digital or print media while animating public space, reaching new communities, building local partnerships, and deepening neighborhood ties.

We acknowledge and honor the Ohlone Chochenyo people who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.


Emeryville Historical Society publishes a well-researched quarterly journal focusing on North Oakland and Emeryville early history (late 1800s to early 1900s).  Started in 1988 by a group of librarians, photographers and history buffs, the group continues to produce photo exhibits for Oakland Public Library’s Oakland History Room.  A full collection of their journals, not yet digitized, can be found at the Oakland History Room.




The Golden Gate Branch of the Oakland Public Library, located at 5606 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland,  is one of I6 neighborhood branch libraries. The Golden Gate Branch has a collection of approximately 41,000 items. Circulating materials are largely of popular interest with a strong emphasis on fiction and jazz music.


marksearch engages people in collaborative expressions of local history as a way to deepen bonds between people and their environments. Through cross-disciplinary projects, they create temporary and permanent sculptural structures for improvisational collaboration in public spaces.


Kala Art Institute, based in Berkeley, CA, is a community art-making hub and residency program offering professional facilities across print and digital media. Kala's mission is to help artists sustain their creative work and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.

Kala community engagement intern Heidi Herrera (at left) leads Commons Archive outreach and social media. Heidi is pursuing a Masters in art history with an emphasis in social activism and human rights. She's dedicated to building community, preserving oral histories and democratizing archives.


Oakland Wiki is like Wikipedia, but it’s a wiki all about Oakland. It is a free website about Oakland that anyone can edit. There was nothing here when the site was first launched in July, 2012.  All of the content on this wiki has been built by contributors. Through a short training, anyone can learn how to add content. The wiki group holds edit sessions at Oakland Public Libraries.


PLACE for Sustainable Living is a public serving, experiential learning center that showcases and advocates for urban homesteading, community resiliency, social justice and artistic expression. The grounds include demonstration gardens and educational exhibits, an urban farm, several shops equipped with tools and machinery, and a co-working space. Since 2011 they have offered workshops, gatherings and celebrations to share skills and honor community.


Kala Art Institute's mission is to help artists sustain their creative work over time through its Artist-in-Residence and Fellowship Programs, and to engage the community through exhibitions, public programs, and education.

Your Oakland Public Library empowers all people to explore, connect, and grow.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from The Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund that also is supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

This activity is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of all its programs. Its vision is guided by the belief that change is possible through inquiry, creativity and compassion.