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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

Researchers who wish to access the materials in SBMAL’s collection virtually should fill out this form and a member of SBMAL staff will get back to you as soon as possible. Staff will assess a service fee to the researcher for staff time and resources. The fee schedule is as 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. (see below for additional fee schedules).


Hours and Appointments


Masks are not required but you are welcome to wear one if you wish. We ask that you please reschedule your appointment if you are experiencing any cold- or flu-like symptoms or have recently been exposed to COVID-19.

The Archive-Library is open for appointments on most Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. To make an appointment, please fill out this form. An appointment is not booked until a member of staff has written to confirm the date with you. If you are coming from out of town, we recommend that you do not make travel arrangements until your appointment has been confirmed.

We are closed on federal holidays and other occasions. Please inquire with SBMAL staff directly for changes to our schedule.

Access Guidelines and Procedures

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

Requesting Copies

To learn about our reproduction policies, 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 corresponding forms to

Digital Scans Request - Research Only

Reproduction for Publication and Use

Duplicate Art - for Publication

SBMAL is open to researchers by appointment only.
NEW HOURS for 2024! Research hours are now available on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

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