Welcome to the Petaluma History Room
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
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.
- 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.
- All items will be kept in Closed Stacks. Only librarians or History Room docents may obtain the materials from the stacks.
- Ink pens of any kind are not permitted while using the materials. Notes must be taken in pencil or by computer.
- For some items, persons handling the materials will be supplied with cotton gloves in order to protect the objects.
- Unless material is being photocopied, it should be used only in the History Room Study Area.
- Before photocopying material, check with the desk. Some items may have restrictions on reproduction.
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.
- Local History and Genealogy Notes
The Library's historical blog, featuring 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.