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Researching San Luis Obispo County History

Resources for researching San Luis Obispo County and the Central Coast

Genealogy Resources at Kennedy Library

Search digitized materials in the archives in our Online Archive

Search all our collections, including materials that are not digitized, at the Online Archive of California

Historic San Luis Obispo County newspapers online

San Luis Obispo County directories The library holds many issues of county business and personal directories, which are searchable on the library's catalog. Some issues are available in the main collections, some are available by request in Special Collections.

San Luis Obispo Building Permits, 1906-1937 Special Collections holds a selection of building permits for San Luis Obispo city. There is a searchable index that is accessible in Special Collections. The database is searchable by owner, block and lot numbers, date, cross streets, and sometimes by street address. Contact Special Collections and Archives to have them search the database for you.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department Records, 1869-1965: Contains documentation of the early activities, legal actions, and expenses of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office including arrest records, meal counts, court records, and sheriff’s actions.

San Luis Obispo City Police Department Records, 1881-1978: Records of the City of San Luis Obispo Police Department, including affidavits, letters, summons, and arrest records relating to the Police Courts, Recorder’s Office, and jail of the City of San Luis Obispo.

Genealogy Resources in SLO County

San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society The SLO Genealogical Society provides specialized genealogical research for researching family history or learning about genealogical research. Their trained volunteers can meet with researchers to help them learn more about their families. Visit their website to learn more about the resources they provide, their calendar of events, and how to contact them.

San Luis Obispo Public Library The San Luis Obispo Public Library on Palm St. provides access to many county publications on microfilm and also provides access to Ancestry on their public terminals.

History Center of San Luis Obispo County The History Center of San Luis Obispo holds collections and published materials on many San Luis Obispo families, organizations, and local history. Visit their website to learn more about their collections, search their digitized materials, and set up an appointment to visit their research room.