Hill Valley City Archives

Marty and 1955 Doc Brown looking up the Hill Valley City Archives.

" The City Archives, down in the basement of the Hill Valley City Hall, would have been long closed by the time they [Doc and Marty] towed the DeLorean back to safety. And they would have stayed closed too, if Doc hadn't known Charlie, the night watchman. Charlie and Doc both shared a passion for the Old West in general, and Hill Valley in particular — and Charlie could be talked into bending the rules a little when it came to visiting hours and suchlike, especially if you shared some of the history you found. / So Doc had brought Marty into the file room, a place filled with bound newspapers, local memorabilia, and dozens of cabinets filled with old photos and clippings about the region. You could spend days down here if you didn't know exactly what you were looking for. But Doc hoped they could find everything they needed in the file drawer marked "Hill Valley: 1880s". "
—From Back to the Future Part III by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, pages 27 and 28)
"Great Scott! It's me. It is true. All of it. It is me that goes back there and gets shot!"
—Doc to Marty

The City Archives of Hill Valley were located in the basement of the Hill Valley City Hall.


Hill Valley's City Archives was monitored by a night watchman named Charlie, who had a love for the Old West and Hill Valley history much like Dr. Emmett Brown did. Charlie would bend the rules for Doc by extending the visiting hours for him, as long as Doc showed him some of the material he came across.

Having discovered Doc's tombstone in the Boot Hill Cemetery on November 14, 1955, Doc and Marty McFly visited the City Archives that night and desperately searched for information in the file marked "Hill Valley: 1880s" on Doc's possible death and his killer Buford "Mad Dog" Tannen. Doc and Marty also checked out a file on Buford Tannen, but it was misleading when they found out that the records about Tannen were lost when it stated Buford shot and killed the editor of the Hill Valley Telegraph for printing an unfavorable story about him in 1884. However, they did get a lead in the photograph book when they found a photo of 1885 Doc standing in front of the clock to the Hill Valley Courthouse before its completion, thus proving that he was back in the Old West.

Doc also found a file with Marty's family ancestors, and pointed out Marty's great-grandfather William Sean McFly in the book A History of Hill Valley, 1850-1930.