Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library






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The Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library is a home to a unique collection of sources related to the missions of California, California history, Franciscan history, and the history of native peoples in the Southwest until approximately 1850.



Our mission is to collect and preserve these materials in order to provide access to researchers and to help increase the knowledge about the missions, their past and their role in the heritage of California and the Americas.



Visit the “Mission Archive” page for finding guides and more information about the major collections of documents from the twenty-one missions established in California between 1769 and 1823, and that range from San Diego to Sonoma.



We also have several thousand photo images of various types that cover a broad range of subjects and date from 1860’s. While digitization and cataloguing these images is an ongoing project, a quick guide to these can be found on the “Photo Archive” page.




We also have the private papers of prominent scholars of California mission art, architecture, archaeology, and anthropology including, Edith Buckland Webb, Norman Neuerburg, Kurt Baer, and Ynez Hasse. These collections are in the process of being catalogued.



Because of our limited hours of operation, research appointments are required. Please visit our “Contact” page for the current schedule and any planned closures. Membership in the Archive-Library is required for those wishing to conduct research here. More information on how to become a member can be found on the “Support SBMAL” page.



If you are interested in learning about the Archive-Library’s activities and events, please sign up for our electronic newsletter La Gaceta and think about becoming a member.


Please contact me directly if you have any questions or are interested in learning more about SBMAL, our collections, or how to support our work to help tell the stories of early California.



Monica Orozco, PhD


(805) 682-4713 ext. 152



The Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library is a non-profit institution dependent on donations, grants, and membership dues to cover conservation, staffing, and operational expenses. Your membership will help us continue to provide access to this unique collection of historical material and to continue our conservation efforts. Please visit the “Support SBMAL” page for more information on how to become a member.


Background image: 1848 Fremont Survey Map of California from the SBMAL map collection. Reproduction is available for purchase.