The majority of the street, district and building photographs have been digitized from the San Francisco History Subject Collection. Apartment buildings have not been digitized. Businesses are arranged by business name and churches are organized by denomination. In addition, all of the transportation lines have been digitized – the building may be in the background of a transportation photograph.
The collection covers properties photographed by the San Francisco Assessor’s Office. Search by street address, block number or business name. Locate block and lot numbers through the San Francisco Property Information Map. To be thorough, check both the street address and block number lists. Sometimes a negative of one address will include the neighboring property. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
The collection consists of 95 photograph albums depicting the DPW’s projects including street repair, civic buildings and infrastructure construction. The collection includes a card index to facilitate searching by topic, street or building; photographs in the albums themselves are arranged chronologically. The majority of the prints in the albums were made from glass plate negatives. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
Check the guide by street name, building name, business name, and districts. A small sampling of the color slides has been added to the online database. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
The San Francisco Police Department Records (SFH 61) includes over 12,000 acetate negatives photographed by the Bureau of Photography. The bulk of the collection documents automobile accidents photographed for the Bureau of Accident Prevention. The majority of the shots include businesses and residences in the background with the focus on the automobile accident site. To find a building, search the collection guide by street name. For each “hit,” note the box number at the top of the “contents” text block, listed on the left. The negatives are arranged in envelopes chronologically by date of accident. Each envelope may contain several negatives. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
Panoramas can be helpful in finding 19th century buildings in early views of San Francisco. There are a number of downtown views from the 1990s by Al Greening. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
This collection is helpful for significant San Francisco buildings. The guide is arranged by photographer/studio. The online guide can be searched by building name. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours.
This is a community history photography project of the San Francisco History Center. The photographs collected include residences and buildings from Western Addition, Mission District, Oceanview/Merced/Ingleside, the Sunset and Bayview/Hunters Point. The collection may be viewed during the San Francisco History Center open hours.
This collection documents the following San Francisco residential areas – Presidio Terrace, Westwood Highlands, Westwood Park and also include photographs of the following buildings – MacDonough Building, Cluett Buidling, Davis-Schonwasser Building, and Sloane Building.
Cataloged photograph albums of significant buildings