Archival Collections


About the Collections

Escondido Public Library’s Pioneer Room is the primary historical research center for the community of Escondido. The Pioneer Room identifies, collects, preserves, and provides access to a non-circulating collection of records, manuscripts, and other significant resources of enduring historical, legal, administrative, and fiscal value.

Documents, photographs, and other reference materials are available for researching a variety of local history topics, including historic homes and properties, biographies of people and families local to Escondido, and events about the history and development of Escondido and the surrounding region.

The Pioneer Room is proud to partner with Flickr, Online Archive of California, Digital Reel (library computers only), and Internet Archive to help you search our collections.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 760-839-4315 or

Finding Aids

Finding aids are guides that let users navigate collections by describing how archival collections have been arranged, what kinds of materials they contain and even the history of the collection/creator. The Online Archive of California aggregates the finding aids from archives, libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions across California to make resources and collections easy to find.

Digital Reel

Search the Times-Advocate, Escondido Times, and North County Times newspapers published before 1995 using Digital Reel. The Daily Times-Advocate was founded in 1909 following the merger of two weekly papers, The Escondido Times (founded by A. J. Lindsey in 1886) and The Escondido Advocate (founded by A. D. Dunn in 1891). Also known later as the Escondido Times-Advocate, it was one of the longest-standing institutions in Escondido's history. The North County Times was formed in 1995 from the merger of the North County Blade-Citizen of Oceanside and the Escondido Times-Advocate.

PLEASE NOTE: This resource is only available on Library computers and the wireless network in the Library.

Historic Photographs

Ryan Collection

Local historian and benefactor Frances Beven Ryan gave selected photographs from the collection to the library. Includes Escondido and San Diego County locations.


Rutledge Collection

Photographs of Escondido and San Marcos area homes and businesses taken by Lowell William "Bill" Rutledge, a local photographer, for real estate listings.


Eloise Perkins Collection

Perkins was a staff writer for the Times-Advocate (1948 -1981). Photos in this collection reflect her research into places, people, and events in Escondido and surrounding areas. (Online Archive of California)


Atilano Collection

Selected photographs from the collection feature Atilano's travels, his band of troubadours, and other musicians.

Pioneer Room Digital Exhibits

NEW! The Pioneer Room is working to digitize past gallery exhibits featured in the reading room. 

  • HOME: A Living Archive Escondido Public Library’s Living Archive series highlights the experiences and activities of contemporary Escondido society. This inaugural installment aims to facilitate conversations about origins, self-identity, and the constructions of belonging. “HOME” is the result of the collaborative efforts of Escondido Public Library’s Pioneer Room and Adult Literacy Services to establish Escondido’s own living archive.
  • More exhibits to come!

Pioneer Room's Internet Archive Collections

Visit the Pioneer Room’s audiovisual recordings on the Internet Archive.

  • City Directories (1955-1985)
  • Interviews with Escondido historian Frances Beven Ryan
  • Videos from Channel 10 and Channel 39 news
  • Escondido High School Music Department presents Guys and Dolls (1966/67)


2023 Calendars

Featuring historic Escondido photos found in the Pioneer Room collection. Proceeds go to providing local history and genealogy events and paying for archival materials.