About Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library

  • Children and cow on Speckter Ranch

    Children and cow on Speckter Ranch

  • Fourth Street entrance to the Sonoma County Courthouse in downtown Santa Rosa, circa 1947

    Fourth Street entrance to the Sonoma County Courthouse in downtown Santa Rosa, circa 1947

  • The Hof Brau Restaurant on Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa, 1961

    The Hof Brau Restaurant on Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa, 1961

  • Sebastopol's Carnegie Library just before demolition in October 1975

    Sebastopol's Carnegie Library just before demolition in October 1975

  • Patricia Talamantes of Petaluma in her WAC uniform, circa 1943

    Patricia Talamantes of Petaluma in her WAC uniform, circa 1943

  • Santa Rosa Public Library, 1912

    Santa Rosa Public Library, 1912

Welcome to the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library where thousands of historical books, manuscripts, newspapers, maps and photographs await your discovery.

The Sonoma County Library’s local history and genealogy collection is a community resource of immense value that was first established in the Santa Rosa Central Library’s California Room. In 1998, the collection was moved to a separate building located adjacent to the Central Library and commonly referred to as the “Annex.” In 2002, the Sonoma County Library Commission, governing board of the county-wide library system, adopted a new mission statement for the local history and genealogy division and renamed it the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library. Services, resources, and technologies continue to grow to meet the demands of those we serve.

Some of the resources available include:

  • Personalized one-on-one instruction in historical and genealogical research
  • Over 40,000 photographs, many of which are available online as part of the Sonoma Heritage Collections
  • A comprehensive collection of Sonoma County historical works, county, family, and property histories
  • Access to the Sonoma County Archives which hold many of Sonoma County’s earliest court, naturalization and tax records
  • The Sonoma County History Index which has thousands of references to County events, places and people
  • Santa Rosa newspapers on microfilm from 1857 through 1969, as well as other county newspapers for various locations and dates
  • Wide ranging newspaper clipping files
  • The California Indian Library Collection
  • On-line subscriptions to HeritageQuest, Ancestry.com, GenealogyBank and the San Francisco Chronicle 1865-1922
  • Select California city directories and voter registrations
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Indexes to local cemetery, marriage, birth, death and militia records

Genealogy Resources

Is genealogy your interest, not just in Sonoma County, but anywhere in the world? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Our resources for world-wide genealogical research are vast. We have one of the largest genealogical collections on the West Coast.

Besides several thousand genealogical books and journals, we also provide access to first-rate genealogical research databases like HeritageQuest Online (includes 28,000 digitized books), Ancestry.com Library Edition, and digitized newspaper sources.

Sonoma County Archives

A county’s archives are typically held in governmental repositories or museums. Sonoma County is unique in that many of its primary historical documents are carefully cataloged, housed and made available to the public by the Sonoma County Library.

Upon request, court, tax, and probate records, as well as other documents can be brought to the Library from an off-site facility.

The Archives may be searched through our Guides to Archives.