Two photos of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. The first (circa 1926), in sepia tones includes parishioners gathered in front; and the second is a color image from 2000.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, circa 1926, left, and in 2000. Credit: Courtesy of Mary Robles

Nostalgia tends to run deep for simpler times, when life unfolded much slower than the leaps and bounds of our current tech-fueled pace.

At the same time, today’s technology makes it much easier to store and share our records of the past, from birthdays and ball games to graduations and weddings.

Bringing together that past and present, UC Santa Barbara Library Special Research Collections is returning to the city’s Eastside to share family photographs and home videos gathered last fall during its inaugural outreach to preserve the community history of surrounding neighborhoods.

The Santa Barbara Community Archives Showcase takes place 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Eastside Library, 1102 E. Montecito St.

Free and open to the public, the event, produced in collaboration with Santa Barbara Public Library, will include a screening of home movies, talks on the history of the Eastside Library and nearby Ortega Park and a reading by Melinda Palacio, the city of Santa Barbara 2023–25 poet laureate.

UCSB’s Santa Barbara Community Archives Project (SBCAP) is supported by California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

At a community event last November, SBCAP provided free scanning and digital copies of family photos and videos. While focused on preserving the Eastside’s predominately Latinx history, the event also welcomed families from other neighborhoods and gathered dozens of images and videos, from black-and-white family portraits and group shots at local churches to ballet recitals, soccer games and excerpts from Carpinteria High School’s annual video yearbook.

By submitting their photos and videos for free scanning and copying, contributors agreed to allow UCSB to showcase the collections and make them available to the public.

“This is an ongoing project,” said Angel Diaz, UCSB Library’s curator of California Ethnic & Multicultural Archives. “Although we focused on the Eastside most recently, we are interested in working in collaboration with more groups and community organizations capturing families across the city and county of Santa Barbara.”