Completed in 1964, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum has emerged as an essential landmark for the preservation and celebration of Santa Barbara’s regional history.
As one of the oldest cultural institutions in Santa Barbara, SBHM is home to the vast archival collection of documents and artifacts within our Gledhill Library and collections vault.
Our rotating exhibits in the Sala Gallery feature dynamic elements of Santa Barbara’s local traditions, art, and historical events, while our permanent gallery “The Story of Santa Barbara” traces the development of Santa Barbara’s history from the Chumash to the mid 20th century.
The Museum’s stunning courtyards evoke the romance of early Spanish California, located in the heart of Santa Barbara’s historic district.
Two historic adobes are preserved in the Museum’s lower courtyard, with the Casa Covarrubias adobe dating to 1817 and the Historic Adobe to 1836.
Entrance to the Museum is currently free. Members, students and anyone under 18 always enter free.
Our mission is to be a repository, interpreter and communicator of the rich history of the Santa Barbara region. Through exhibitions, scholarship, educational programs and preservation of the region’s material culture, we connect people of all backgrounds to historically important ideas, people and objects.