Mr. Rosenthal, who in 1978 and 1979 helped in a community effort to protect from subdivision of the open space now known as Kite Hill, was looking for the Almanac's coverage of that collective enterprise.
He mentioned a couple of names from that effort to Portola Valley town historian Nancy Lund, who went to the Almanac's card catalog and found references to relevant stories and letters to the editor, Mr. Rosenthal said in a phone interview.
"I was very impressed," he said. "Nancy was able to go to her catalog that the Almanac editors kept back in the day. It was just very impressive that everyone at the Almanac was so conscientious at cross-referencing the stories with the dates and everything."
He said he went back some time later to look up a Woodside May Day parade story featuring his son as kindergarten "king" of the parade and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana as parade marshal.
Ms. Lund found photos of them both in the photo negative collection and Mr. Rosenthal sent prints to his son.
The experience "was great fun," Mr. Rosenthal said.