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Carlsbad History Collection



See the winners of Drawing on Carlsbad's Past - Historic Art 2020.

The Carlsbad City Library continues to respond to local history inquiries! Genealogy & Carlsbad History staff are happy to provide remote research services, including lookups in published resources and scans of archival materials in the Carlsbad History Collection. Please give us a call at 760-434-2931, or send us an email at carlsbad.history@carlsbadca.gov, and we will reply as soon as possible and within one to two business days.

The Carlsbad History collection is housed at the Georgina Cole Library and focuses on resources that directly contribute to and enhance users’ understanding of local history. The collection is used by a diverse group of researchers from residents, to city employees, to the news media, to students. To respond to the broad range of information needs and interests, the collection includes a wide variety of materials dating from the 18th century to the present. 

Information about much of the collection can be found in the catalog and we are always adding to the digitized collections accessible through the online Carlsbad History Collection. For research assistance, please email us at: carlsbad.history@carlsbadca.gov


The holdings (which do not circulate) encompass paper, microform and electronic records. Resources in the collection include:

  • Personal papers
  • City records and reports
  • Oral histories
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbooks
  • Films
  • Maps
  • Blueprints
  • Books and Periodicals

Frequently Used Resources

The most heavily-used items in the collection are local high school yearbooks, the local newspapers on microfilm and our virtual tour of historic sites in Carlsbad: 

  • Carlsbad Journal
  • North County Times
  • San Diego Union Tribune
  • Blade-Tribune
  • North County Blade-Citizen
  • North Coast Advertiser
  • La Costan
  • Carlsbad Sea Lion
  • Oceanside Blade

Collection Growth

The collection has been shaped largely by donations from the community. Specific target areas for collection growth in the coming years include:

  • Missing yearbooks
  • Gaps in the newspapers collection
  • Photographs that document the evolution of Carlsbad
  • Original documents related to Carlsbad history and early residents
  • Historic maps
  • Oral histories
  • Published resources covering Carlsbad and north San Diego County history

How to Contribute to the Collection

If you have materials or memories you would like to possibly donate to the collection, please contact us at 760-434-2931 or at carlsbad.history@carlsbadca.gov