The Library Collection

The Library houses over 150,000 resources pertaining to the history of Ventura County and it’s outlying regions. The collection spans the Chumash Indians, the Mission and Rancho periods, early settlement, commercialization, industrialization, to present times.

Collection Highlights

  • Historical references, monographs, biographies, city and county directories, census records, voter indexes, court records, assessors rolls, and property records
  • Manuscript archives, including personal papers and collections of individuals and families from around the county, as well as records developed by local government, corporations, clubs and organizations
  • County newspapers, with 13 titles depicting the history of the county, outlying regions, and evolution of the region’s newspaper industry since 1851
  • Over 39,000 image prints and negatives, daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, tintypes, albumen prints, and glass plate negatives, as well as 3,300 historical postcards, 2,300 slides, and 750 reels of microfilm
  • Map types, many of which are unique and hand drawn, include historical plat maps, boundary maps, topographic and hydrological maps (USGS), irrigation/ditch maps, right-of way maps (railroad and highway), and land case maps (court case exhibits).
  • Architectural drawings for residential, business, and industrial construction
  • Articles of Incorporation for Ventura County businesses and other groups, from the 1870s to the present
  • Over 425 oral history interviews with people knowledgeable of Ventura County history

Search Books and Monographs Online

Through ongoing partnerships with the Ventura County Library and with the Central Coast Museum Consortium, the Museum’s Research Library book and monograph records are available online and are searchable independently or collectively with these institutions:

The Ventura County Library combines the Museum’s bibliographic records with countywide branches of the public library.
The Central Coast Museum Consortium combines the Museum’s bibliographic records with the library records of Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.


The Museum Library accepts donations of books, periodicals, documents and photographs that fall within our collecting priorities and guidelines.

Library Hours

11:00 am to 5:00 pm • Open Wednesday through Friday

For Library information: | 805.653.0323 x320