Reference and Reproduction Services


For reference questions or other information, please telephone the reference desk at (415) 557-4567 during our public service hours.

Email reference

You can also write to us:

San Francisco History Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Fax: (415) 437-4849

The staff can answer reference questions, but more in-depth research may be beyond the scope of our services. The staff may be able to locate researchers for hire for patrons. If you are writing from outside of California, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your letter.


San Francisco History Center provides photocopies, photographic reproductions, and digital scans for a fee.

All photocopies are made by staff, daily at 4 p.m. Request forms for copy work are available at the information desk. Special restrictions may apply to many of our materials, including newspapers, manuscripts, photographs, fragile items, and oversize volumes. Reproduction from any of our materials is at the discretion of the librarian. The price for photocopies is 10¢ per page (black and white) or 40¢ per page (color). Library users may pick up photocopied materials, or arrange to have them mailed for an additional charge.

Patrons may make their own reproductions using their own camera equipment under certain circumstances. Patrons should complete a Photocopy Request form when photographing from textual collections, and should complete a Reproduction of Images form when copying from photograph collections. For further information on the Center’s photograph collections and reproduction of images, see the Order Images section.

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