Santa Barbara has a rich history of literary and scholarly endeavor, and has long enjoyed a reputation as a writers’ colony. Throughout the years, groups of poets and writers have gathered here to compare notes and to soak up the area’s distinctive atmosphere. The University of California Santa Barbara has played its part in attracting writers on all subjects, and has helped shape the local literary landscape. To reflect this heritage, the Department of Special Collections in the University’s Donald C. Davidson Library has sought to create a repository of the many works by and about the people of Santa Barbara.
This guide attempts to index the Department’s holdings by authors who have spent significant time as residents of Santa Barbara and its environs, as well as works with Santa Barbara as a subject or setting. Both fiction and non-fiction works are included, although, in general, materials such as government documents, EIRs, geological reports, and other scientific or technical studies have been excluded. We have chosen to define Santa Barbara broadly, to include all of Santa Barbara county, and even perhaps a bit beyond in some instances.
The guide is arranged alphabetically by author, listing the major works of each in roughly chronological order, and noting the collection and call number of those works held in Davidson Library. Manuscript holdings are also noted. An asterisk (*) indicates that the Department of Special Collections has substantial holdings.
This is a work in progress, and continues to be updated as new acquisitions are made. The Department of Special Collections maintains an ongoing interest in collecting additional first editions, correspondence or other manuscript material for significant Santa Barbara authors, as well as material documenting the Santa Barbara connection for those writers not closely associated with the area.
Inclusion on this list (which is biographical in nature) does not imply that the Department of Special Collections holds any copyright, reprint permission or other authority. Most authors may be reached via contacting the respective publisher.
If you would like to know more about our collections, or would like to contribute additional materials, please contact by email Special Collections or telephone (805) 893-3062.