The Santa Barbara Legacy Reel Audio Tapes Collection contains the earliest recordings of people and events of mid-20th century
Santa Barbara historic preservation. From the 1950s into the 1970s, there was a concerted effort at the local, county, and
state levels to raise awareness of Santa Barbara's storied past. During this period the Historical Society, as the Museum
was then known, began a publications program, established a decade-long presence at the Santa Barbara Mission, and built a
permanent museum in the heart of downtown. Through the efforts of its leaders, the historic El Pueblo Viejo district was established
along with a spin-off organization that would reconstruct the Presidio, Santa Barbara's birthplace. This collection of reel-to-reel
tapes documents many of the key events of this golden era of historic preservation in Santa Barbara.
The Santa Barbara Historical Society was formed in October 1932 to foster research and study of the history of the city and
county of Santa Barbara. In 1943, the Society became a California non-profit corporation with exhibit and storage space in
the tower room of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. In the 1950s the Franciscans offered the Society office and exhibition
space at the Santa Barbara Mission. It was during this period that curator W. Edwin Gledhill began documenting the Society's
preservation efforts by means of audio recordings. The capturing of memories on reel-to-reel magnetic tape continued into
the 1970s until others took over the Society's recording efforts using the newer and more compact technology of audio cassettes.
in 3 record storage boxes
Property rights reside with the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact
the Head Archivist of the Gledhill Library.
Collection is open for research.