This collection, compiled by Whitehead, contains research materials, drafts,and published writings; facsimiles, transcriptions
and translations of historic documents; correspondence; and deeds, maps, and plans, that document the history and reconstruction
of El Presidio de Santa Barbara. Also included are Whitehead's activities with other organizations in Santa Barbara related
to history and preservation.
Richard Whitehead was born July 11, 1907 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After a career as a land use planner for Santa Barbara
County, Whitehead joined the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation as a board member in 1969 and became President
in 1972. During his retirement he worked for many years on the reconstruction of the Presidio, doing the initial surveys
for the archaeology work and collecting all the documentary evidence he could find from libraries all over the world. He
organized many paid and unpaid translators as well as spent many hours himself transcribing and translating many of the documents
he ordered from the Bancroft Library, the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library, and the Archivo General Nacional. Whitehead
established the Presidio Research Center and donated most of his personal research materials which formed the foundation of
the Center’s collections. His hope was that the Research Center would become a major facility focusing on the four presidios
of California, with additional material on Loreto, the southwest U.S. and the northern frontier of Mexico.
In addition to his research on the Santa Barbara Presidio, Whitehead also edited a new printing of An Archeological and Restoration
Study of Mission La Purísima Concepción : Reports Written for the National Park Service, and Voyage of the Frigate Princesa
to Southern California in 1782, as well as several articles. He was also a dedicated board member of the Santa Barbara Mission
Archive-Library and conducted much of his research there. Whitehead died in Santa Barbara on August 25, 1988. His book on
the Santa Barbara Presidio, Citadel on the Channel, was published posthumously by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation
13.5 linear feet (25 boxes)
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Director for
Historic Resources. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation Research
Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.