Special Collections, Genealogy, and Obituaries

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Genealogy HEADER 

The Special Collections

The Special Collections at the Santa Maria Public Library house unique and difficult to find materials. These collections are available at the Information Desk on the second floor of the Santa Maria (main) library and through the Luna photographic collection.

  • Reference books: travel, law, jobs and career information, test books, college research, car, motorcycle, and truck repair guides, small business resources, and song books
  • Government documents

Local History

  • Local history: city directories, telephone books, and high school yearbooks
  • Microfilm Collection: regional newspapers dating back to 1882
  • Historic Photos: The Luna photographic collection contains digitized photos of local history including the Allan Hancock Collection and Minerva Club Yearbooks. Access is not restricted. Additional photos not yet digitized are available at the Information Desk

Visit the Information Desk on the second floor of the Santa Maria (main) library for more information on these special collections.


The Santa Maria Public Library has over 800 titles in its genealogy collection. The collection is housed in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Santa Maria (main) library.

Not sure where to start? Members of the Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society  are available by appointment in the library to assist with your research or to help get you started. Email roots@smvgs.org to schedule.

Users can consult a special list of our genealogical holdings arranged by ethnicity or country of origin, geographic regions (counties, states, or country), and a list of resources by subject (i.e. census, church records, military records, passenger lists, etc.) or utilize the online public catalog for materials. Stop by the Information Desk on the second floor for assistance.

The Library offers onsite access to Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource. Research census, immigration, military, birth, death and marriage records, and other useful information sources.

Other online resources include:

Family Tree Maker


The Reference Department staff can obtain copies of obituaries from the Santa Maria Times. 

Please send an email to libraryreference@cityofsantamaria.org or a letter written to the library at 421 South McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 93454, attn: Reference Department.

What do we need?

  1. Name of the deceased.
  2. Death date. A two-week range is acceptable.
  3. Return address or preferred email address.

Please limit requests to three items at one time. Available staff will handle all requests on a first come, first served basis. There is no fee for this service.