Santa Barbara Presidio Research Center

Collections

The collections include over 4,300 books and journals, manuscript collections dating from the 18th to the 20th centuries, subject files, maps, oral history collections, and photographs. Together, these materials document many aspects of the growth and development of Santa Barbara, and of the lives of people who have lived in the Presidio neighborhood. The collection also consists of over 1,000 objects, which are used to interpret the Presidio and the Casa de la Guerra historic house museum through permanent and rotating historical and art exhibitions. You can browse specific material types below, or search our online catalog >> 

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Digital Collections

Browse digital collections and exhibits featuring historic photos, maps, and oral histories. Our digital materials are a small and ever-growing representation of materials held on-site. 

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Manuscript Collections

This collection includes unpublished materials created by Presidio-area families and organizations, which were donated to the Presidio Research Center. You can view the finding aids for our collections on the Online Archive of California at the link. Contact the Archivist & Librarian to browse these collections. 

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Maps and Plans

This large collection includes maps, architectural plans, and graphic materials for research use. Printed and hand-drawn maps date from 1788, with a copy of a drawing of the original Presidio plan by Goicoechea, and cover the town of Santa Barbara through its growth as a city, focusing on blocks, neighborhoods, city, and county. View the map index at the link, and contact the Archivist & Librarian for assistance in your search. 

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Photographs

This extensive collection of historic and contemporary photographs of the Presidio neighborhood is organized into several series by topic and historical period. Contact the Archivist & Librarian to browse this collection. 

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Subject Files

This collection includes clippings, articles and ephemera that don’t appear on the main library shelves. Most of these materials have been catalogued and are listed here in this index. Contact the Archivist & Librarian to browse this collection.