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

Digital Reel


DMV Records

Family Histories

Family Interviews

Historic Buildings & Homes

Historical Resources Survey & Inventory
Local Authors & History Books

Local Events: Wine, Pioneer Day


Medical & Hospital Records


Mineral Springs

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



Promotional brochures

Surname files

Tax Assessment rolls (1892-1951)

Transportation/Bridges binders

Wine History







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

Quick Research                             

Free                                                $15 per request                     $15 per request

In-depth  Research

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


Photo scans

$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



Contact Us

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800 12th Street
Paso Robles, CA , 93446

Mailing Address:

PO Box 2875

Paso Robles, CA 93447