California is the state of constant change and surprise, from its evolving vistas and landscapes to the ever increasing number of people who call it home -- either by birth or by choice. Few states in the nation can claim as much diversity among their citizens. The face of California is a collage of different ethnic groups working alongside each other to create homes within these borders. Now, imagine the people of California coming together to create a family album, an incredible showcase documenting the joys, the milestones, the work, and the play of this great extended family. The Shades project began in Los Angeles in 1991 as a local exhibition of the city's diverse communities. The phenomenal success of this Shades of LA project generated interest in a statewide version, the Shades of California. People were invited to bring their family albums and personal photograph collections to photo days at public libraries throughout the state, sponsored by the California State Library. Community volunteers and project staff then selected photographs that were reshot on-site by professional photographers. Shades of California brings together the most arresting, humorous, poignant, and memorable images from the entire Shades project for the first time. These photos from the late 1800s to 1998, the faces of California, are a reflection of ourselves and our place in this state we call home.The Shades of California photographs are now in the California State Library's permanent photograph collection, where they are an important resource for researchers, writers, curators, and educators.