Sonoma County Local History Resources

  • SCL Photo No. 7484

    Sterling and Rachel Coulter with their five of their six daughters: Polly (school teacher), Joanna, Minnie (County Superintendent of Schools), Nellie (Deputy County Superintendent of Schools), and Judith. Photo taken circa 1905 at the Coulter farm at 935 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa

Books at the Annex

Several thousand books on Sonoma County History, most of which have been indexed in the Sonoma County Local History index. The books can also be searched by title, author, and subject in the main Library Catalog (you may use the searchbox on the left sidebar for basic keyword searches)

Periodicals at the Annex

Nearly 150 periodicals, both about history and historic local publications. See the Library Catalog for an alphabetical list of periodicals.

Newspapers at the Annex

Sonoma County newspapers from 1857 on. See the list of newspapers on microfilm.

Sonoma County Local History Index

The Local History Index-- a database searchable by subject (places, names, events, etc.) -- is a Sonoma County local history researcher's tool of first choice. It is a detailed index to names, places, and events contained in the several thousand books in the local history collection.

Sonoma County Records

Includes deeds, mortgages, wills and probate records, assessments of property, voter registration, oaths of office, surveys, maps, corporation records, business licenses and more. Most materials are stored at the Sonoma County Archives and must be brought from the Archives to the Library for your use. Call 707-308-3212, with any questions, or to request materials. Please allow five business days for volumes to be delivered to the library.

Obituaries at the Annex

Selected index to Sonoma County obituaries from 1855-1912.  You may send us an request for a copy of an obituary.  Find more information about locating and requesting obituaries.

Census at the Annex

U.S. Census for California 1850 to 1920; indexes for other states and Canada from 1790 on.

City Directories at the Annex

California city directories from 1850 on; Sonoma County Directories from 1874 on.

Materials for Researching a Sonoma County house

Include city directories, published histories, newspapers, maps


Tens of thousands of photographs of Sonoma County's rich history. Most have been digitized and may be viewed through our Sonoma County Local History & Culture site as well as through our library catalog. High-quality photographic reproductions are available for all of these photographs.

Sonoma County Historical Societies

Many Sonoma County communities have local historical societies that can be a source of additional information

Web Resources and Databases

See listing of Local History Web Resources

Materials for Sale -- Support the History and Genealogy Library

The Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries have historical photo postcards and reproductions of historic maps for sale, with all proceeds supporting the Library.