Research at the Archive

Policies and Procedures

The Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library is a research and educational non-profit institution dedicated to the collection and preservation of, and access to, historical and cultural resources pertaining to Franciscan history and Missions and the communities they interacted with, especially in Colonial New Spain, Northwestern Mexico, and the Southwestern United States.

Due to our limited hours and staffing constraints, access to SBMAL’s collections is by appointment only and all researchers must be members of the Friends of the Archive-Library (please inquire about special student rates).

Your membership will help us continue to provide access to this unique collection of historical material and to continue our conservation efforts. 

Fee Schedule for Remote Research Assistance

Like many organizations, the Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library has been closed since March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. SBMAL staff continues to provide remote research assistance to interested researchers during the closure. Researchers who wish to access the materials in SBMAL’s collection can contact SBMAL staff by phone or email to discuss their project. Staff will assess a service fee to the researcher for staff time and resources. The fee schedule follows:


SBMAL members: $40 per hour – minimum one hour, then increments of an hour after that


Non-members: $50 per hour – minimum one hour, then increments of an hour after that


Please be advised that this fee will be in addition to any/all fees for copies, scans, shipping, etc.


Hours and Appointments


The Archive-Library is open for appointments on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 10am to 4pm. We close from 12pm to 1pm for lunch. To make an appointment, please email

We are closed on federal holidays and other occasions. Please check our calendar for changes to our schedule.

Access Guidelines and Procedures

To learn about our access guidelines, please view the details here.

Requesting Copies

To learn about our photocopy policy, please view our guidelines here.

If you would like a digital or print copy for research or publication purposes, please download, fill out, and return the following forms to

Digital Scans - Research Only

Duplicate Manuscripts - for Publication

Duplicate Art - for Publication