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5/21/24 - 7/14/2024: Eastside Library will be closed due to construction work.

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Local History Research

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Whether you are a local SBPL patron or a visiting researcher, everyone is welcome to visit the Central library and use our microfilm collection and other local history resources free of charge. Please contact the library about specific newspaper holdings, microfilm printing, or any other questions.

If you can't visit us, reference staff can provide obituary searches or provide local history research using the library’s local newspaper microfilm collection and local history resources.

Requests are accepted by regular mail and must include payment by check or money order made out to Santa Barbara Public Library. Payment is required even if no obituary or local history article is found. Requests may take 2-4 weeks to complete. Scans of obituaries or newspaper articles will be sent if an email is provided with your request. 

  • Obituary requests are $25 per person (staff will search ten days from date of death)
  • Local history searches are $50 (for 30 minutes of research)

As a part of your request, please include:

Obituary Requests

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date of death or approximate date of death
  • Your name and email or mailing address 

Local History Requests

  • Names, events, dates or other information that might help in the search
  • Your name and email or mailing address

Mail a check or money order and request details to the following address:

Santa Barbara Public Library
Reference Unit - Obituary/Local History Request
PO Box 1019
Santa Barbara, CA 93102

**The Santa Barbara Genealogical Society maintains an updated database of local obituaries and can often provide obituaries in a matter of days. Try submitting a search request of the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society database.