Located on the Ninth Floor of Central Library
Special Collections include the Hervey Family Rare Book Room, the San Diego Heritage Room, the Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collection Room, the Genealogy Collection and the California Collection.
The Hervey Family Rare Book Room houses the Wangenheim Collection of rare books and materials. The room has the tranquil feel of a 19th-century, wood-paneled private library with a modern flair.
The Wangenheim Collection of rare materials traces the history of books over 4,000 years. Some of the highlights include:
There is a 14-foot-long study table created by San Diego woodworker Bill Murphy. It consists of two parallel 400-pound slabs of eucalyptus, which were taken from the same tree.
There are San Diego city directories in the San Diego Heritage Room. These directories list the addresses and occupations for most San Diegans by year. If a house was built before the reverse directories were printed, you can still discover who lived there using census and voter registration rolls.
This is also where you find information on San Diego’s history, including:
In the Genealogy Collection library patrons have free use of the library’s subscription to Ancestry.com (subscription is only accessible at SDPL locations). Ancestry.com has a wide selection of census and voter lists, as well as ship manifests, marriage licenses, death certificates, city directories, wedding notices, newspaper articles, school yearbooks and church records.
The California Collection has extensive information on California history.
Head to the Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collection Room for a quiet place to read through the things you’ve discovered in the Special Collections.
Ken Kramer's San Diego