Sinsheimer Collection

MS 036

Detailed inventory and background for this collection


Two photographs of the Sinsheimer family

Two photographs of the Sinsheimer family

The Sinsheimer Collection contains nineteenth- and early twentieth-century business, personal, and political papers of the Sinsheimers, a prominent and pioneering mercantile family of San Luis Obispo, California. Of German-Jewish extraction, Sinsheimer brothers Bernhard and Henry and half-brother A. Z. migrated to California following the Civil War, starting a general merchandise store in San Luis Obispo in 1876. One of A.Z.’s sons, Louis F. Sinsheimer, served as mayor of San Luis Obispo from 1919-1939, a period of great advances in the city’s infrastructure. Spanning four generations, this is an unusually rich collection, documenting the family’s business, political, and personal interests. The collection is comprised of roughly 105 linear feet of family correspondence and memorabilia; business correspondence and ledgers; financial records and invoices; business, personal and political ephemera; personal diaries, daybooks, notebooks and calendars; photographic prints and negatives; newspapers, blueprints, maps, and artifacts. The collection was donated by the Sinsheimer heirs in 1987.


Sinsheimer, Aron Zacharias (A.Z.), 1837-1919; Sinsheimer, Bernhard, 1848-1928; Sinsheimer, Gertrude, 1871-1960; Sinsheimer, Henry, 1854-1932; Sinsheimer, Jeanette "Nettie" Weil, 1847-1926; Sinsheimer, Louis F., 1869-1951; Sinsheimer, May, 1873-1948; Sinsheimer, Paul A., 1879-1956; Sinsheimer, Warren A., 1885-1952; Sinsheimer, Warren A., Jr., 1923-1968


124 Paige boxes, 530+ financial ledgers, and 400 rolled maps and plans