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Shades of Bayview Hunters Point

A Search for the Visual History of San Francisco

While street and landscape locations like Hunters Point Shipyard and Third Street are available in the San Francisco Public Library’s photographic archive of the city, pictures of everyday home, community and work life are not. Researchers, writers, filmmakers, teachers and students depend on the Library’s collection to paint an accurate picture of daily life in our communities. That’s why the Library is inviting members of the community to share copies of their photos with the archives this May!

The public is encouraged to bring personal photo collections to the Shades of Bayview Hunters Point Photo Day on Sunday, May 18.The Library is interested in a variety of photographic subjects such as leisure activities, work life, celebrations, performances and family gatherings. Images of social, cultural, civic and political organizations are welcome as well as neighborhood landmarks and businesses. Participants do not need to be current residents of San Francisco and are urged to bring their entire collection as opposed to self-selecting photographs. Photo albums, loose photographs and digital photos are all welcome.

Photo Day

  • Sunday, May 18, 2014
  • 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Bayview Branch Library
  • 5075 3rd Street / Revere Avenue

At the Photo Day, Library staff and trained volunteers will select images to add to the city’s archives. The selected photos are copied on the spot. These photographs are then available to library users at both the San Francisco History Center at the Main Library and the Bayview Branch, and they will be exhibited at a later date.

Make an Appointment to Help Save History!

Photo Day appointments are strongly encouraged as this greatly reduces any wait time. Appointments are available on the hour starting at 10 AM and ending at 3 PM. Drop-ins are accepted if time permits. To make an appointment, 415-218-3434 or

We Need Volunteers!

We are also looking for volunteers to help select photos and work with the public on Photo Day. Volunteers attend a training on Saturday, May 17 from 9 AM to 4 PM to learn about the history of the community and the archival process. The training culminates with a hands-on session in photo selection and recording. Lunch is provided. Interested volunteers should contact the Coordinator at the number and email above or download the Shades of Bayview volunteer application here (PDF).

The Shades of Bayview Hunters Point is funded through the California State Library’s LSTA grant. The “Revisiting and Restoring the Multimedia History of San Francisco's Last African American Community” grant project is a partnership with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) and San Francisco State University’s Bay Area Television Archive (BATA).

With the grant funds, BATA repaired, re-mastered, digitally preserved and presented 115 local 16mm newsfilm featuring the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. Produced by local TV stations between 1956 and 1980 and newly accessible to the public online, this archive provides unique glimpses of a proud community determined to help itself. Watch never before seen footage including Eloise Westbrook, Ruth Williams, Adam Rogers, Mrs. Osceola Washington, Sylvester Brown, Dr. Arthur Coleman and many other community leaders and activists. All available free online:

The 1963 documentary film Take this Hammer (the Director's Cut) - featuring writer James Baldwin visiting the Bayview Hunters Point - has also been preserved and made available online. Below is the link to view Take this Hammer (the Director's Cut):

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