Marilyn Blaisdell Photograph Collection

The Marilyn Blaisdell Photograph Collection (SFP 84) includes over 17,000 prints and over 8,000 negatives (both glass and film). The collection contains a variety of visual formats including vintage photographs, glass plate negatives, stereographs, real photo postcards, cabinet cards and cartes-de-visite. Over 700 photographers and studios are represented in this collection – including, and to name only a few - Thomas Houseworth, Eadweard Muybridge, Isaiah West Taber, Carleton Watkins and Willard Worden. The collection is arranged by format – prints, postcards, stereographs – and then alphabetically by photographer.

The Marilyn Blaisdell Photograph Collection represents over forty years of collecting on the part of Ms. Blaisdell. The compilation is one of the greatest private collections of historical San Francisco photographs. There are many outstanding photographs in the collection, covering San Francisco locations from various eras. It is strongest in Ms. Blaisdell’s three main areas of interest: The Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Playland at the Beach. In 2014, Ms. Blaisdell generously donated her extensive photo collection to the San Francisco History Center of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Marilyn Blaisdell Photograph Collection is open for research and available during the open hours of the Photo Desk. A small number of photographs have been digitized from the collection.

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