Sonoma County Library

  Boats on the Petaluma River near the McNear warehouse, 1895

Petaluma History Room

Documents, books, photographs about the history of Petaluma
Staffed by trained volunteers

Back Main Local History & Genealogy page
Back Petaluma Regional Library page

PDFDownload a flyer about the History Room and Petaluma history

Also see our online resources for researching Petaluma history:

  • Sonoma Heritage Collections
    Albums of photographs, maps, postcards, and more from the collections of the Library, the Sonoma County Archives, and the Sonoma County Fair.
  • Sonoma County Local History & Genealogy blog
    Highlights of our collections of photographs and postcards, with historical notes.
  • Guides to Archives
    Research Petaluma history in the archives! Use these guides to locate and identify Sonoma County Archives historical sources for your research.

Welcome to the Petaluma History Room

Portrait of Carrie Jones Meyer

The Sonoma County Library welcomes you to the Petaluma History Room, where you will find books, manuscripts, historic photographs, newspapers, clippings, maps, city directories, yearbooks, City of Petaluma municipal records, and other materials that chronicle Petaluma’s past. Volunteer docents are available to assist you in a variety of ways, including:

  • Exploring the fascinating history of Petaluma and the surrounding area
  • Getting you started with genealogical research
  • Helping you trace the history of your house
  • Training you to use online resources and databases
  • Locating historic photographs


Carnegie Library, Petaluma, 1915
  • Tuesday afternoons, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday evenings, 5:30 – 7:45 p.m.
  • Thursday afternoons, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Hours subject to change. We suggest calling the Reference Desk at 763-9801 to verify the room is staffed, before making a trip to the History Room.

Inquire at the reference desk if you need materials when the room is not open.

Questions?  Email the Petaluma History Room at:

Main Street Looking South, Petaluma, 1911

Collection Access Policy

Within the collection are items of cultural and historical significance. Many of these books, clippings, photographs, and memorabilia are one of a kind and in fragile condition. Therefore, prudence dictates that certain restrictions be placed on their access, use, and care.


  1. When you wish to study or use the collections, you must turn in your Sonoma County library card to be held while materials are being used. A temporary library card will be provided for non-residents with proper identification.
  2. All items will be kept in Closed Stacks. Only librarians or History Room docents may obtain the materials from the stacks.
  3. Ink pens of any kind are not permitted while using the materials. Notes must be taken in pencil or by computer.
  4. For some items, persons handling the materials will be supplied with cotton gloves in order to protect the objects.
  5. Unless material is being photocopied, it should be used only in the History Room Study Area.
  6. Before photocopying material, check with the desk. Some items may have restrictions on reproduction.
East Washington Street, Petaluma, CA 1885

100 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma CA