Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society’s Sahyun Library to Reopen August 3

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The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that the Sahyun Library is reopening on Tuesday, August 3, following over a year-long closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Someday we’ll look back on this COVID year as a minor interruption in our lives,” said Society Board Co-President Art Sylvester, “but in the short term, it has been a great disruption in the operation and services our Sahyun Library provides for our genealogical society members.” 

While Society meetings and genealogical presentations were provided online via Zoom over the past year, members are looking forward to gathering in person and assisting each other and the community with research. “I have a ton of questions and hints from my genealogy work during this pandemic,” said Board Co-President Bob Basen. “I can hardly wait for the Sahyun Library to open to seek these answers – and to see some old friends who can help me.” 

The Sahyun Library property was donated to the Society in June 1998 by the family of Dr. Melville Sahyun, a local medical pioneer, to be used as a library for family history research. The Library now contains over 17,000 genealogy related items, Santa Barbara County school yearbooks, and a large collection of newsletters and journals from genealogical societies all over the United States and abroad. The Library also provides computer stations for genealogical research, with subscriptions to online resources such as, (military records), (newspapers), and more.

Membership in the Society is just $40 a year for an individual, and benefits include access to Library computers and subscription sites, research assistance from Library volunteers and coaches, and subscription to Society publications Tree Tips (monthly newsletter) and Ancestors West (a quarterly publication featuring articles about genealogy and family history). The Society also hosts monthly meetings featuring guest speakers and presentations from genealogy professionals, and several community events throughout the year.

The Sahyun Library is located at 316 Castillo Street in Santa Barbara. Beginning August 3, the Library will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Learn more about the Society and how to become a member at


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