Institute For American Research

The South Coast Railroad Museum is a business name and the principal program of the non-profit Institute for American Research.

Incorporated: October 1968, State of California
Corporation number: 5561150
Federal employer identification number: 95-2579618

Tax-exempt classifications:
Federal: 501(c)3, non-profit scientific and educational organization
State: public benefit, scientific and educational corporation

During its history, the Institute has completed hundreds of research, educational, publication, and historic preservation projects in the Western United States. In support of its work, the Institute has received grants, contracts, and awards from a distinguished list of national, state, local, and private foundations and funding agencies, including:

National & Federal:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • American Association of Museums
  • National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Dept. of Energy and Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
State & Local Government:
  • California Council for the Humanities
  • Arizona Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Parks
  • California Dept. of Water Resources and Dept. of Parks
  • Nevada State Parks
  • Arizona Office of Historic Preservation
  • County of Santa Barbara.
Private Foundations and Organizations:

  • Santa Barbara Foundation
  • Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation
  • La Vista Foundation for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • Wood-Claeyssens Foundation
  • Amgen Foundation
  • Winterthur Museum
  • Foundation for Field Research
  • ANL Foundation
  • Irvine Foundation.
"South Coast Railroad Museum at Goleta Depot" is a business name of the Institute. The organization formally established the railroad museum in 1983, the same year in which the Institute was asked to assume responsibility for and obtained legal title to Goleta Depot. Goleta Depot was built in 1901 by the Southern Pacific railroad. It was closed in 1973 and moved to Lake Los Carneros County Park in 1981. The building was dedicated Santa Barbara County Historical Landmark No. 22 in Oct. 1982.

Professional Affiliations:
  • American Association of Museums
  • American Association for State and Local History
  • Association of Railway Museums
  • California Association of Museums
  • Railway and Locomotive Historical Society.

Today, all Institute programs are based in Santa Barbara County, California - focusing on local subjects and serving both residents and visitors to the area. This follows a rich tradition of activities, spanning more than two decades and covering a much broader geographical area.

The Institute's first major project involved the archaeological reconnaissance of Amchitka Island in the Aleutian Chain off the Alaskan coast, and the excavation of six archaeological sites prior to nuclear testing on the island. The 1969-1970 research represents an important contribution to the study of the peopling of North America.

During the early 1970s, the Institute conducted a variety of research and historic preservation projects in Southern California. The Institute moved its offices from Orange County to Santa Barbara County in 1977. To reflect the organization's broadening focus, the name was changed in 1979 from Archaeological Research, Inc.

In the late 1970s and early '80s, the Institute was a primary contractor during the federal government's California Desert Conservation Project. This involved the discovery, investigation, and protection of thousands of prehistoric and historic sites distributed over an area representing about 20% of the State of California.

The Institute opened a branch office in Tucson, Arizona in 1981, from which it conducted the largest archaeological research program in the history of Southern Arizona, a project which would run the decade, concluding in 1989.

The Institute started both its "Publications in Local History" series and its "Anthropological Papers" series in 1983.


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South Coast Railroad Museum

From the Museum Blog:

Posted 12/16/2015
Museum Hours:

Posted 11/24/2015
Don't Miss The Candy Cane Train!

Posted 09/02/2015
Depot Day Coming Sept. 27

Posted 03/24/2015

Posted 12/22/2014
Sweetheart Special Vintage-Rail Trip

Posted 11/03/2014
Support Museum With AmazonSmile

Posted 10/06/2014
Garcias Are Museum Heroes

Posted 02/10/2014
Trains For A Green Planet

Posted 01/13/2014
Museum Joins Rose Parade Festivities

Posted 11/23/2013
Decorating For The Holidays

Posted 10/24/2013
"Family Fun Train" Coming Nov. 9

Posted 07/29/2013
SB Vino Train Tickets Available Through Museum's Online Store

Posted 04/16/2013
Welcome, Mariem!

Posted 03/11/2013
Pride Of Madeira Ready To Bloom

Posted 02/18/2013
Sweetheart Special Had Lots To Savor

Posted 02/12/2013
Goleta Short Line's No. 1316 Based On Historic S.P. Diesel Switcher

Posted 02/07/2013
Nancy Steps Up!

Posted 01/30/2013
Rick Reeves Completes Training

Posted 01/23/2013
Turntable Upgrade Completed

Posted 01/16/2013
Borgia Has A New Look!

Posted 01/09/2013
Meet Our New Intern: Shuyan Dong

Posted 01/03/2013
Blueprints Share Depot Architecture

Posted 01/01/2013
Coast Starlight Volunteer Training Scheduled For 2013

Posted 12/20/2012
In Memoriam: James Higman

Posted 12/19/2012
Historic Super Chief Lounge, Acoma, Being Readied For Return To Service

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