The rich history of Sebastopol and West County are captured in a collection of nearly 7,000 images held by the West County Museum and now made available through Sonoma County Library's Sonoma Heritage Collections (http://bit.ly/19uKFKx). With the the launch of the Western Sonoma County Historical Society Collection, WSCHS members, the community, students and historians can explore the Museum's collection beyond its walls.
This project is the culmination of five years of dedicated efforts by volunteers Sally Morrison, Mary Dodgion, Rae Swanson, Evelyn McClure, John Fore, and Tim Webster. Geoffrey Skinner, cataloger for the Sonoma County Library, translated information from the Museum's cataloging platform, PastPerfect, to create the new Heritage Collection on the Library's website.
Among the many historical images from Sebastopol and western Sonoma County, Luther Burbank and his Gold Ridge Experiment Farm, the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad, and the local apple industry get a lot of space, but visitors can also find hundreds of portraits, extensive architectural images (including those from Evelyn McClure's Sebastopol, California: History, Homes and People, 1855-1920) and snapshots of daily life in the area, dating back to the 1870s. Many images (except for portraits) are paired with a Google Street View image for a then & now experience; multiple photographs of some houses and other building can provide a different view of changes over time.
Visitors to the collection can discover images in a variety of ways -- through using descriptive terms provided for each image or by browsing the entire collection by dates, names, street address, photographers and more. Because the Sonoma Heritage Collections includes many related images in other collections, users may search across the entire site to discover additional useful and interesting images. The site also allows users to download copies of images for personal use.
Finally, visitors may leave comments -- especially encouraged for unidentified subjects or errors.
Keep your eyes on this collection as we digitize additonal images donated to the Museum. Enjoy