research & collections
The Moon 1892-1895
The Independent 1894, 1895, 1899
Paso Robles Record 1895-1917
Paso Robles Press
1921; 1925 Jan-June; 1926-March 1937; 1942- Nov. 16, 1962; 1963-65
The Daily Press 1966-1968; 1970-1973
Paso Robles, Daily Press 1974-1992
Paso Robles Spotlight 1928-1930
Paso Robles Star 1920-1925
Paso Robles Times 1935-1937
North County Journal 1964- 1967
Paso Robles Country News 1976-1979
Paso Robles Gazette 1999-2005
Agriculture, Ranching, Farming
Businesses, past & present
Carnegie Library History & Records
Church &Cemetery Records
City Services files
Historic Buildings & Homes
Historical Resources Survey & Inventory
Local Authors & History Books
Local Events: Wine, Pioneer Day
Medical & Hospital Records
Notable Residents: Paderewski
Organizations in Paso Robles
Paso Robles Area Schools, Current& Historic
Paso Robles City Clerk Annual Report (1920- 1964)
Paso Robles High School Yearbooks, Bearcat Newsletters (1931-1984), Class Year Files
Tax Assessment rolls (1892-1951)
The Virginia Peterson Research Library is the repository for photographs, documents and publications related to Paso Robles and its surrounding area.
Location: On the lower level of the Historic Carnegie Library building, which houses the Paso Robles History Museum.
Staff: Paso Robles Historical Society volunteers
Hours: Thursdays, 11-3 or by appointment
Digital Reel (Digitized Searchable Newspapers)
A new addition to the Library is a service that provides access to digitized newspapers. At this time, over 10,000 pages of our newspapers, dating from 1886 to the early 1930s, have been digitized and are easily searchable on our computers. Digital Reel is available in-house only for a nominal fee so as to cover our cost for its use.
Members: $10 hr. Non-Members: $30 hr.
Past Perfect Museum software
Our collections are presently being catalogued into Past Perfect Museum software so that our archives are searchable through our Library's computers.
House and Building History
The PRAHS has a variety of resources to help you document the history of your house or building. Before beginning your work, we suggest that you: Ask neighbors about previous owners, changes to the property, and neighborhood history; Look at your property tax statement for the legal description; Ask a title company to do a title search; Visit the County Recorder’s Office for any information on previous owners & deeds
At the Historical Society you can use the following resources to research:
Historic Resources Inventory
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Surname Vertical Files
The Paso Robles Area Historical Society research volunteers are happy to assist you in your research. If doing your own research is not preferable or not possible, PRAHS volunteers are available to do research
Research Services Process
1. Request: Fill out the Research Request form below. After it is received, one of our research volunteers will contact you to define the research question(s) and estimate the amount of time needed to complete the research.
2. Payment: Once the time and cost for your research project is agreed upon, please click here to fill out the form and pay.
3.. Research: Research will begin using the Society’s collections and research databases. You may be contacted with additional questions. Should further time be needed to complete the research request, you will be notified at which time you may be asked if you would like to continue and agree on payment for further hours of research.
3. Report: The research volunteer will prepare a summary of findings either in email format or by hard copies which may include photocopies of relevant documents and suggestions.
Self-directed Research in Library
A donation is appreciated.
Rates for hiring a researcher
Members Nonmembers Commercial
Free $15 per request $15 per request
Free for first 2 hours, $30 for first 2 hours, $35 per hour
then $10 per hour. then $15/hour
Donation $.25 per page $.25 per page
$10 each $20 each $20 each
Use of personal camera
Donation $30 for 1-5 photos $50 for 1-5 photos
Use of Digital Reel
$10 per hour $30 per hour $30 per hour