South Coast Railroad Museum
The South Coast Railroad Museum at Goleta Depot is dedicated to the history, technology, and adventure of railroading. Special emphasis is placed on the railroad's contributions to local history, on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and on the key historical role of the railroad depot in rural community life across America.

Within this subject framework, the museum seeks to educate all ages and segments of the general public, to provide family recreational opportunities that are consistent with and supportive of the museum's educational goals, and to preserve items of historical significance. Foremost among these artifacts is Goleta Depot, a Victorian-styled 1901 Southern Pacific railroad station and a Santa Barbara County Historical Landmark, which also houses most of the collections and exhibits. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Goleta Depot is both the museum's centerpiece and its raison d'etre.

The museum endeavors to achieve its educational, recreational, and preservation goals through research, publication, rail trips, school and community outreach programs, guided tours, special events, living history, a variety of exhibits and displays, collecting and conservation, and an on-going building restoration program. The museum strives to achieve program excellence and to conduct its activities in a professional manner.

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

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, a
nd 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 Endowment for the HumanitiesNational Science Foundation
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
City of Goleta

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.

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.