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  • Santa Monica Collection Room

    The Santa Monica Collection Room holds a specialized selection of primary and secondary sources that chronicle the history of the Santa Monica Bay region, Southern California and the rest of the state.

    Located on the second floor of the Main Library, this is a non-circulating research collection containing approximately 4,000 items. It includes books, annual reports, directories, maps, pamphlets, City planning documents, yearbooks, ephemera, and more.

    Access and Use 


    The Santa Monica Collection Room is open to the public by advance appointment only.

    • To make an appointment in advance, please submit a Reference Inquiry request.
    • Appointments are limited to up to 1 hour.
    • A librarian will be present duration of the appointment.
    • Please use only pencils while taking notes.
    • No food or drink (including water bottles) is allowed.

    Materials may not leave the Santa Monica Collection Room. In order to protect and preserve the unique collections in the Santa Monica Collection Room, the Room is reserved for researchers using the local history materials housed herein.

    Visitors should consult the librarian before photocopying any material due to the fragile condition of many of these irreplaceable resources.

    Obituary and Other Requests 
    Library staff processes requests for obituaries from the Santa Monica Evening Outlook. Each request must include a surname, first name, and precise date of death that includes month, day, and year. Searches are limited to 3 obituaries per request.  Recipients will receive emailed digital images of the obituary or photocopies via the U.S. Postal Service. This is a free service. Requests may be placed in person or by contacting Telephone Assistance at 310-458-8600; or by emailing Reference Department.

    Library staff welcomes requests for information from other resources in the Santa Monica Collection.

    Highlights of the Collection 

    City directories
    City Directories, Reverse Directories and Yellow and White Pages Directories for Santa Monica and vicinity are available for various spans of time from 1899 to the present.

    An almost complete set of the Santa Monica High School yearbook The Nautilus.

    Biographical resources
    The collection contains numerous biographical resources such as the Santa Monica Blue Book: Historical and Biographical, compiled by Charles Sumner Warren, editor-in-chief of the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, published in 1941, and the Santa Monica Biography Notebook, compiled by reference librarians. This is a primary resource that includes original newspaper articles. In many cases additional biographical datasheets, curricula vitae and ephemera are also included. This set focuses on people who were active on the local scene from the 1960s to 1990s.

    Electronic Resources 

    Imagine Santa Monica
    Digital collection of photographs and postcards dating from 1875 to the present day; a set of historical maps of the Santa Monica area; a digitized version of the years 1875 to 1937 of the Santa Monica Evening Outlook; and the Santa Monica Newspaper Index, a selective index to newspaper and magazine articles of local interest dating throughout the Twentieth Century and up to the present day.

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