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Carlsbad History Collection

The Carlsbad History Collection keeps the past alive by collecting and preserving local history and making it available for research. Watch the History Room video.

Family letters, memorabilia and early Carlsbad city documents are included in the collection.

Oral histories provide a glimpse into the history, culture and personality of a community. The Carlsbad History Collection seeks to collect and preserve these interviews as a part of our collection development policy. Please contact the History Room if you are willing to share your experiences of life in Carlsbad: 760-434-2931 or

The oral history collection currently contains almost 70 interviews. Listen to a clip here. The earliest interview is of former City of Carlsbad Police Chief Max Palkowski, conducted by Natalie Vermilyea and completed in 1974. We also have a transcription of an interview from 1979 with Emily Kelly Switters, granddaughter of Matthew Kelly, original owner of the Los Kiotes Rancho. The majority of the interviews were conducted in the 1990s-2000s and are contained within a variety of formats. Please contact us for more information.

A sample of interviews in our oral history collection:

  • Manuel Castorena
  • Raymond Ede
  • Lillie Black
  • John Mamaux
  • Ede Westree
  • Louise Carpenter Williams
  • Monte Yearly
  • Joyce West Smith
  • Toni Morgan
  • Carlsbad Champion, January 1926 – December 1927
  • Carlsbad Journal, January 1928 – December 1992
  • Carlsbad Sun, January 1993 – December 1995
  • North Coast Advertiser, March 5, 1975 – February 1981
  • Oceanside Blade, October 1892 – April 1930

Additionally, a microfilm collection of the short-lived weekly newspaper Carlsbad Sea Lion is available (December 10, 1887 – June 23, 1888).

Excerpts from the Plain Truth/Spirit of Love newspaper are available (June 1884 – December 1922). These were compiled by Robert Baird.

Several incomplete yearbook sets are available in the Carlsbad History Room.

  • Carlsbad School Los Años, 1942, 1943, 1946
  • Carlsbad High School Purple Shield (1958 – 2010)
  • La Costa Canyon High Stampede (2000-02)
  • Oceanside-Carlsbad Union High School Green and White Annual (1921-24)
  • Pirateer (1933-34, 1936-37, 1946, 1950-51, 1953, 1955, 1961)
  • Oceanside-Carlsbad College Spartans (1954, 1960-63)
  • Army and Navy Academy Adjutant (1937, 1958, 1961-62, 1968-73, 1982-83, 1985, 1989-90, 2008)
  • San Dieguito High School Hoofprint (1988, 1990)
  • San Luis Rey Academy El Rey (1969)
  • Valley Junior High School (1990-96, 1998-99, 2002-04)

This is a small sample of print resources about Carlsbad that are available from the Library. For additional materials, please consult a librarian.


More than 4,700 photos are available for historical research. Some photos are available via patron provided portable storage device. Historical photos can be viewed by appointment.


Oilers, Carlsbad High School Marching Band, Carlsbad City Library, Friends of the Library, Rost, Hutflez, Baldwin, Ayars


Zahniser Family 1882 – 1906, 1930; Shipley and Magee 1886 – 1954; Roberts 1942

Boxed Memorabilia

E.C. Hummel cacti and succulent catalogues and awards, Allan O. Kelly writings, geological research and letters, Ralph Walton Boy Scout collection, Ida and Nelson Westree, California Macadamia Society, Quail Gardens founders papers 

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Contact Information

Carlsbad History Collection

1250 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
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General Information

Carlsbad History Collection
Monday – Thursday
9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Located upstairs in the Genealogy Department in the Cole Library.