The Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will reopen the Sahyun Library on Tuesday, Aug. 3, following over a year-long closure due to the pandemic. The library is at 316 Castillo St., Santa Barbara.

“Someday we’ll look back on this Covid year as a minor interruption in our lives,” said Art Sylvester, Society Board co-president. “But in the short term, it has been a great disruption in the operation and services our Sahyun Library provides for our genealogical society members.”

While society meetings and genealogical presentations were provided online via Zoom over the past year, members are looking forward to gathering in person and assisting each other and the community with research.

“I have a ton of questions and hints from my genealogy work during this pandemic,” said Bob Basen, board co-president. “I can hardly wait for the Sahyun Library to open to seek these answers, and to see some old friends who can help me.”

The Sahyun Library property was donated to the Genealogical Society in June 1998 by the family of Dr. Melville Sahyun, a local medical pioneer, to be used as a library for family history research. The library now contains some 17,000 genealogy-related items; Santa Barbara County school yearbooks; and a collection of newsletters and journals from genealogical societies all over the U.S and abroad.

The library also provides computer stations for genealogical research, with subscriptions to online resources such as; (military records); and (newspapers).

Membership in the society is $40 a year for an individual; benefits include access to library computers and subscription sites; research assistance from library volunteers and coaches; and a subscription to society publications Tree Tips (monthly newsletter) and Ancestors West (a quarterly publication featuring articles about genealogy and family history).

The society also hosts monthly meetings featuring guest speakers and presentations from genealogy professionals, and several community events throughout the year.

Beginning Aug. 3, Sahyun Library will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more about the Genealogical Society and how to become a member, visit