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Research at the Archive: Research Collections

Many thanks to the Wood Claeyssens Foundation, Hutton Parker Foundation, Outhwaite Foundation, California Mission Foundation, and the Academy of American Franciscan History for their generous support of SBMAL's collections and programs.

Policies and Procedures 

Take a look at our policies and procedures before you visit.

A detail of Junipero Serra's signature from a document.

Mission Era Documents

The Mission-era collections include the Junípero Serra Collection, 1713 to 1947; the California Mission Documents, 1640-1853; and the Apostolic College (Our Lady of Sorrows) Collection, 1853-1885.


Genealogical Research

The Archive-Library has copies of the sacramental registers of the California Missions, recording baptisms, marriages, and burials, for use in family history research.


A black and white image of a group of people in fancy dress standing for a portrait around a small child at the gathering.

De la Guerra Collection

Documents in the De la Guerra Collection cover the social, political, military, and economic pursuits of one of California's founding families. Also includes the De la Guerra-Vallejo Collection.

A person shelves books in the library with a large cart in front of her.

Reference Library

Browse our main book catalog for reference materials on topics related to our primary source collections.

An oil painting of Junipero Serra with him in center frame from the 1800s.

Serra Cause Collection

The Serra Cause was the lengthy campaign to have Junípero Serra canonized as a saint. The documents in this collection describe that campaign, which resulted in Serra's canonization in 2015.

Dora P. Crouch Collection

Architectural historian Dr. Dora P. Crouch studied architecture, archaeology, engineering, and geology. This collection contains her research materials on a wide variety of subjects, including colonialism in the Americas, North American archaeology, and Native American art.

A detail of a music page from the 18th century with lines of notes.

Mission Music Collection

The Mission Music Collection contains works related to the music of the Alta California missions.

A black and white image of 3 adults standing with nice hats on.

Edith Buckland Webb Collection

Edith Webb, artist and historian of the California Missions, compiled a collection of research materials that includes photographs, correspondence, and scrapbooks.


A sampling of newspaper clippings from the Baer collection.

Kurt Baer Papers

UCSB Professor of Art and Art History Kurt Baer was appointed the official art historian of Franciscan missions in California. The Kurt Baer Papers represent Dr. Baer's research materials compiled while writing his three books on the missions and their art and architecture.

An oil painting from the 19th century depicting Mary with Jesus in her arms from the waist up.

Fine Art Inventory

Browse the Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library's working inventory of collected fine art. Please note that this inventory may be updated as artworks are added to our collections.

An older image of the garden courtyard at the Mission.

Photo Archive

The Santa Bárbara Mission Archive-Library holds several thousand photo-images of various types, covering a broad range of subjects and dating back to the late 19th century.

1958 Novices_Bucherand DeGroot_IMG_002.j

Provincial Archives

Portions of the collections of the Archives of the Province of St. Barbara are on deposit at SBMAL. The Province oversees ministries of the Franciscan Friars (OFM) in the western United States.

An example of a postcard from a collection at SBMAL with written text.

Sylvia Broadbent Papers

Dr. Sylvia Broadbent was a Professor of Anthropology at UC Riverside from 1966-1992. Before coming to UC, Dr. Broadbent also taught Chibcha culture and history at Universidad de Los Andes. Her papers include photographs, notes, letters, and articles from a career researching linguistics, language and culture, archaeology, prehistory and symbolism of communities in North and South America.

A close up image of hands unfurling a yellow flower.

Education Materials

Explore SBMAL's videos and project materials for use in the classroom.

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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