Local History: Napa

The purpose of this guide is to lead the beginning researcher to the most important and useful sources in the Reference Collection and online for the study of local Napa history.  The list of sources is not exhaustive; please consult with a Reference Librarian for additional suggestions. 


Atlas Peak:  History of a Napa County Settler by Cecelia Elkington Setty.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Setty

Dreamers of the Valley of Plenty:  A Portrait of the Napa Valley by Cheryll Aimee Barron.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Barron

Early Upper Napa Valley by Elizabeth Cyrus Wright.  Call Number:  CAL R 979.419.

Encyclopedia of Local History.  Carol Kammen and Norma Prendergast, eds.  Call Number:  REF 973.072 Kammen.

The Far Side of Eden:  New Money, Old Land, and the Battle for Napa Valley by James Conaway.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Conaway

History of Solano and Napa Counties with Biographical Sketches of Leading Men and Women of the Counties by
Tom Gregory.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Gregory.

History of Solano County California and Napa County by Margarite Hunt and Harry L. Gunn.  Call Number: CAL 979.452 Hunt.

Huichica:  Recollections of Stewart M. Duhig.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Duhig

Images of America:  Napa by The Napa Valley Museum and Lin Weber.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Weber.

Napa:  An Architectural Walking Tour by Anthony Kilgallin.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Kilgallin

Napa:  The Story of an American Eden by James Conaway.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Conaway

Napa:  The Transformation of An American Town by Lauren Coodley.  Call Number:  CAL 979.402 Coodley

Napa County:  An Historical Overview by Norton King.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 King

Napa Valley.  Edited by Patton Howell.  Call Number:  CAL 810.8 Napa

Napa Valley Wine Country by The Napa Valley Museum and Lin Weber.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Weber

Nearby History:  Exploring the Past Around You.  David E. Kyvig and Myron A. Marty.  Call Number:  REF 937.072 Kyvig.

Old Napa Valley:  The History to 1900 by Lin Weber.  Call Number:  CAL REF 979.419 Weber

On Doing Local History.  Carol Kammen.  Call Number:  REF 973.072 Kammen.

Roots of the Present:  Napa Valley 1900 to 1950 by Lin Weber.  Call Number: CAL REF 979.419 Weber.

Stevenson at Silverado:  The Life and Writing of Robert Louis Stevenson in California's Napa Valley 1880
.  Anne Roller Issler.  Call Number:  CAL 921 Stevenson.

The Story of Guenoc Ranch:  Lake and Napa Counties California by Genevieve S. Magoon.  Call Number:  CAL 979.417 Magoon.

They Left Their Mark:  Famous Passages Through the Wine Country by Joan Parry Dutton.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Dutton.

Under the Vine and the Fig Tree:  The Jews of the Napa Valley by Lin Weber.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Weber

LIBRARY CALL NUMBERS TO BROWSE:  California Collection 979.402 to 979.479

The Sonoma/Napa and Partners (SNAP) online catalog is the gateway to circulating books on Napa history. Search by keyword, author, title or subject. Subject headings strive to identify topics with consistent terminology. The basic terminology is produced by the Library of Congress. Always look at the subject headings in any catalog, database or index to make sure that you are searching with the most relevant terminology. Once you have the right terms, it's much easier to find the right books.When searching by subject, use one or more of the subject headings below:

Archaeology and History California Napa Valley                 Napa County (Calif.) History Anecdotes
Buildings California Napa County History                           Napa County (Calif.) History, Local
California Napa Valley History                                          Napa County (Calif.) History Periodicals
Immigrants California Napa County History                       Napa County (Calif.) Maps
Napa (Calif.) History                                                       Napa County (Calif.) Telephone Directories
Napa County (Calif.) History
Napa County (Calif.) History 19th Century       

Connect to SNAP catalog

The following databases may be useful in locating information on Napa history. These reference sources are available online through Solano, Napa and Partners (SNAP) databases and require a library card or e-card to access them.

Heritage Quest Online (Library) (Remote)
Newspaper Source Plus
Infotrak Newsstand (Gale)


California Historical Quarterly.   Call Number:  MAGZIN 

California History.  Call Number:  MAGZIN

Gleanings.  Napa County Historic Society.  Call Number:  CAL R 979.419 NAPA

Late Harvest:  Napa Valley Pioneers.  A Napa County History Research Project.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Late.

Napa Valley Market Place Magazine:  Local History Articles Written by Lauren Coodley.  Compiled by Tobi Eakle-Shields for the Napa History Project.  Call Number:  CAL 979.419 Coodley.

Stories.  Napa County Historic Society.  Call Number:  NAPA 979.419 NAPA (Napa Main Library)

Tidings and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  Call Number:  CAL 979.4 Tidings


"California as I Saw It":
This Library of Congress - American Memory site contains first-person narratives of California's early years (1849-1900). 

California Genealogical and Historical Societies:
Statewide and county resources created by Carolyn Feroben of Santa Clara Historical Society.

My California Geneaology:  Napa County History and Information:
This site provides links to records at the Napa County Courthouse including probate and court records from 1850 forward,  land records from 1848, and death records from 1873 onward.  Also included are birth records from 1873 forward and marriage records from 1850. 

Napa Valley Geneaological and Biographical Society:
The Napa Valley Geneological and Biographical Society homepage includes links to their research library (the Napa Valley Genealogy Library) and a Napa history timeline.  Genealogy ccurses are available as well as their newsletter:  The WinePress.

Sutro Library, San Francisco:
Sutro Library offers the most extensive genealogy collection west of Salt Lake City.  Sutro Library materials can be accessed through the California State Library Main Catalog.  Sutro items may be borrowed by requesting an interlibrary loan through Napa Valley College Library.

Wappo Indian Maps of Napa:

Copyright (C) 2010 Napa Valley College                                                  By:  Napa Valley College Library
Last updated: Sept. 15, 2011                                                                  Questions & Comments: Nancy McEnery