Mug Books of the past have been replaced by computer databases now, but back before the days of computers and databases, they served as an effective method for Police Departments to keep track of past criminals and wanted people. The Sacramento Police Department has generously provided these scanned images of their historical Sacramento California Police mug books to archive.org for free access to everyone. If you are not aware if one of your ancestors may have been arrested for a crime, then I suggest you first search the newspaper records available online for free of Sacramento California, so that you have a year span to choose from. Unless you’re like me and just like perusing the old mug shots…

Sacramento California Police Mug Books

Sample page from the Sacramento California Police Mug Books

Sample page from the Sacramento California Police Mug Books

Contains photographs and descriptions of arrestees in the city of Sacramento California. May also contain description and date of crime, and sometimes date of death, if known by police.

Sacramento California Police Wanted Books and Bulletins 1899-1933

These are wanted books and bulletins that Sacramento Police Department kept at the turn of the 20th century. As you can see by the title of the books they classified them by type of crime, ethnicity, and age of wanted persons. The juvenile book also contains runaways and possibly abducted children.

Folsom State Prison Discharge and Mug Books 1891-1898

Folsom State Prison (FSP) is California’s second-oldest prison, long known for its harsh conditions in the decades following the California Gold Rush. Although FSP now houses primarily medium security prisoners, it was one of America’s first maximum-security prisons. Construction of the facility began in 1878, on the site of the Stony Bar mining camp along the American River. The prison officially opened in 1880 with a capacity of 1,800 inmates; they spent most of their time in the dark, behind solid boiler plate doors in stone cells measuring 4 by 8 ft (1.2 by 2.4 m) with 6-inch (15 cm) eye slots.

Nevada State Police Prison Mug Books 1908-1943

These are copies of a Nevada State Police Prison mug book that the Sacramento Police Department copied as a way to create a criminal database. Includes photographs and descriptions of arrestees from 1908-1943. Accession number: 1995-013-004. Digitized by FamilySearch.org

San Diego and Long Beach California, Tacoma Washington, and Denver Colorado Police Mug Books 1922-1928

It was a practice for large police departments to keep copies of other area city mug books. Due to this, we have an extensive collection of mug books from the following cities: Berkley, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, and Stockton  California; Tacoma Washington, Denver Colorado, and Portland Oregon mug books from 1902-1939 that were kept by the Sacramento Police Department.

San Francisco Police Mug Books 1902-1939

It was a practice for large police departments to keep copies of other area city mug books. Due to this, we have an extensive collection of San Francisco, California mug books from 1902-1939 that were kept by the Sacramento Police Department.

San Quentin State Prison Mug Books 1891-1926

In 1851, California’s first prison opened; it was a 268-ton wooden ship named The Waban, anchored in San Francisco Bay and outfitted to hold 30 inmates. After a series of speculative land transactions and a legislative scandal, inmates who were housed on the Waban constructed San Quentin which “opened in 1852 with 68 inmates.” The prison held both male and female inmates until 1932.