San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco History Subject Collection

The San Francisco History Center Subject Collection consists of photographs, from the 1850s to the present. This collection includes views of San Francisco street scenes, buildings, and neighborhoods, as well as photographs of famous San Francisco personalities. A large part of this collection consists of the photograph morgue of the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin newspaper, dating from the 1920's-1965, when the collection was donated to the library.

The San Francisco History Center Subject Collection is arranged alphabetically by subject heading. A subject guide to this entire collection, including both digitized images and photographs, is available. In addition, a guide to browse digitized images by subject is also available. Finally, it is possible to search the San Francisco History Center Subject Collection using keywords.

San Francisco History Center Oversize Photograph Collection

This collection consists of photographs larger than 8 x 14 inches (20 x 36 cm). The guide to the collection is divided into San Francisco Subjects (PDF 221K), Portraits (PDF 48K) and California Places (PDF 73K). Use the guides to request photographs during the Photo Desk open hours. A large number of oversize photographic prints have been added to the online database.