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Santa Barbara Genealogical Society

Santa Barbara Genealogical Society |

Event Location

316 Castillo St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

For Map Directions: Click Orange Icon
Map of Santa Barbara Genealogical Society, 316 Castillo St.

The dream of all 'homeless' genealogy societies came true for the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society (SBCGS) in June 1998, when the family of Dr. Melville Sahyun, a local medical pioneer, donated his historic laboratory property to the SBCGS to be used as a non-circulating library for family history research.

In 1972, two women placed an ad in the Santa Barbara newspaper, looking for others searching for roots; the response was the origin of the SBCGS. Since then, the society had met in members' homes, a community center, a public library, and churches. The society's 'library' began when members, willing to donate their books, kept the books in their homes and carried them to the meetings.

By early 1998, the SBCGS library had grown to more than 4,500 books and was housed on jury-rigged shelving in two rented rooms of about 600 sq. ft., along with a computer, photocopier, desk, microfiche reader, six filing cabinets, and an 8' reading table! The library was bursting at the seams; and the society, at 475 members, continued to grow.

Then the dream came true: the family of Dr. Melville Sahyun, looking for a meaningful way to honor the life of this world-renowned biochemist, heard about the SBCGS and its search for a new home.


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