A REAL Card Catalog available for those so inclined! At the Sahyun Library
This past weekend I had the pleasure of presenting Caring for Keepsakes: Top 10 Family Heirlooms to over 200 members of the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, and receiving a personal tour of their fabulous new genealogy library.
Entrance Patio to the Sahyun Library with new addition to the left.
With over 600 members, the SBCGS is a busy and society, and it’s obvious they know how to get things done! When I arrived the meeting was already in full swing with six or more tables hosting focus group sessions. This was followed by a lively and informative general meeting featuring the recent Picnic in the Cemetery and enjoy slides of the living history reenactments performed by society members.
The meeting showcased new books available in their bookstore and a Half and Half program that helps double the library’s buying power — new books are featured in photos and a short description and members can help “buy” the book for the library by contributing half of the book’s cost. Great idea! These books are temporarily shelved in a “New Books” section of the library so donors can easily find them, before being moved to their permanent location on the shelves.
Following the meeting and my presentation, I enjoyed lunch with several members and a tour of the new Sahyun library. “Homeless” no more, the SBCGS has put down roots at the historic Sahyun property near downtown Santa Barbara and expanded the existing buildings to accommodate a library, meeting rooms, and computer lab.
Sahyun Library and Computer Lab
Dr. Melville Sahyun was a Santa Barbara medical pioneer noted for many patents and prescriptions, including Visine. Mrs. Sahyun was a local historian with an interest in early California history, and in 1998 the Sayhun family donated the one and a half acre property to the SBCGS to be used as a family history research library. The property includes the Sahyun’s 1880’s Victorian home, and several bungalow-type buildings that formerly housed Dr. Sahyun’s offices and laboratories.
Former office of Dr. Melville Sahyun; Photo of Dr. and Mrs. Sahyun
SBCGS volunteers spent hours renovating the property to accommodate their fast-growing book collection, now numbering over 25,000 items. The new computer lab boasts PC and Mac computer stations and a digital copy stand for member’s use. I also saw the new digital microfilm reader/scanner that will be used by members in a flagship scanning project to digitize Santa Barbara County vital records and other local documents.
My tour guide Louise at the copy stand.
I’m jealous of this machine!
Read more about the Library and visit the SBCGS website. The Sahyun Library is open four days a week; the card catalog is available 24/7 for online searches. My tour guide, Louise, noted that the library has especially strong collections of New England, Pennsylvania, and Southern U.S. Collections, as well as a relatively large selection of New Zealand and Australian books, thanks to the travels of a society member.