Local History Special Collections

Sonoma County Library is committed to collecting, organizing, preserving, and providing access to historically significant materials that document the communities, cultures, and unique characteristics of Sonoma County. The library’s special collections focus on local history, genealogy, and the wine industry.

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History & Genealogy Library

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Materials relating to the history of Sonoma County and its environs, history and culture, as well as a basic print genealogy collection.

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Petaluma History Room

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Materials relating to Petaluma and the surrounding areas of southern Sonoma County.

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Wine Library

Wine Library photo

Materials relating to the history and culture of the wine industry in Sonoma County.

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Sonoma County Archives

Sonoma County Archives

Official records from the County of Sonoma and Sonoma County Library’s archival collections.

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Digital Collections

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Local historical digital and digitized photographs, videos, audio, and other resources.

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Featured eResources


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Resources for genealogical and historical research. Access at library locations. More



Heritage Quest icon

Thousands of family and place histories, genealogical books, Census archives, documents, and official records. More


HeritageHub Icon

U.S. obituaries and death notices for genealogical research, from 1704 to today. More


FIMo Icon

Historical California maps with high definition, color and gray-scale images. More

Discover Our Collections

To browse and search our special local history holdings, consult:

Once you have located your item(s) of interest, you may consult these materials onsite or call to have materials set aside in anticipation of your visit.

Materials stored off-site, such as the Sonoma County Archives, require advance notice to ensure availability.

Reference & Research

All collections are for in-library use only with the exception of the Wine Library’s circulating collection.

We provide research assistance and support to the public for archives, photographs, books, maps, and other rare materials, in a wide range of subjects. We are happy to assist users in locating published or archival materials, to advise on research questions, and to provide reproductions from our collections whenever possible.

Staff are unable to conduct in-depth research on your behalf. If a request falls outside of staff’s scope, you may wish to hire an independent researcher to perform in-depth research for you. A list of local independent researchers is available upon request.

Donate Your Materials

We are committed to building a representative and inclusive historical record of Sonoma County by documenting a range of voices, experiences, subjects, and time periods. We welcome donation offers that enrich the understanding of Sonoma County. To offer your materials to the library, please use the contact form below. Please include your name and contact details (email address, and phone number), along with a description of materials you would like to donate.

All donation offers are reviewed and evaluated. If your offer is accepted, you will be asked to complete and sign a Deed of Gift/Gift Agreement for your donation.


Contact a Special Collections Librarian at the Sonoma County History & Genealogy, Petaluma History Room, or the Sonoma County Wine Library.

Digital Collections Feedback and Edits

With well over 150,000 images uploaded across 200,000 assets, we were bound to make some small mistakes, including wrong locations. Please use this form to give us feedback or suggest any edits, whether factual or grammatical, you would like to see made to any single item.