What's the best way to learn about the history of your block? Ask a neighbor!

"We were here way before everyone else."

"He used to watch out for my pops in grade school."

"There's a neighborhood submarine on Murray Street...and you can ride in it!!"

"The magic corner of Free Things on Marshall & 59th Street."

These quotes are from some of the more than 200 stories we’ve already gathered from North Oakland neighbors at the library, potlucks, block parties and workshops. As North Oakland continues to grow and change, Commons Archive is gathering neighbors' memories to preserve the area’s many histories.

Visit our Instagram -- we’re spotlighting powerful neighbor stories. And when you see a neighbor on your next walk, share some memories!


Write your own story or talk with a neighbor. Sharing your experiences is a powerful way to preserve local  culture. Stories don’t need to be monumental to be meaningful. As North Oakland continues to grow and change, let’s document its people and places for the future.


Over the coming months, Commons Archive will collect North Oakland stories. You can always find a collection box at the Golden Gate Library, 5660 San Pablo Avenue. Made from old library furniture, these boxes will rotate throughout the community. While the library and other community sites are closed, please email us at: info@commonsarchive.net for ways to share your story. Thanks for making history!