San Francisco Public Library

San Francisco Department of Public Works Photograph Collection

The collection consists of 95 photograph albums, glass plate negatives and loose photographic prints from 1907 to the 1940s depicting the Department of Public Works (DPW) Bureau of Engineering projects including street repair, civic buildings and infrastructure construction. The collection includes DPW’s card index and the photographs in the albums are arranged chronologically. The in-house card index should be used to access the photograph albums arranged by date. The majority of the prints in the albums were made from glass plate negatives. The guide (PDF) lists the albums chronologically as well as the subject albums and glass plate negatives. At the end of the guide is the listing for one carton of photographs and negatives documenting projects from 1925 to 1975. The collection may be viewed during the Photo Desk open hours

A sampling of 200 images scanned from the glass plates and prints in the San Francisco Department of Public Works Photograph Collection has been added to the online database.