Research Archives


Open to the public, the Research Archives provides access to the Photograph Collection and the Document Archives, the region’s largest collection of historical materials covering hundreds of years of San Diego history. The Document Archives houses 45 million documents: public and architectural records, books, maps, scrapbooks, manuscripts, newspapers, ephemera, diaries and the Oral History Collection. The extensive historic Photograph Collection has over 2 ½ million images. The Research Archives serves students, historians and the general public onsite and online.

For information on the History Center’s Collections:

Document Archives                Object Collection

Photograph Collection           Historic Clothing Collection

Oral History Collection          San Diego Art Collection

The Research Archives is on the lower level of the San Diego History Center, in the Casa de Balboa.
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232- 6203 x 117 or x 123 or
For a location map: Balboa Park Map 

Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 1 pm
Please note the following special closures: None at this time.

The Archives welcomes students to do research. Children grades K-7 should be accompanied by an adult. The Archives may not be suitable for children under 6. For information about what to expect when visiting the Archives: Archive Policies (pdf)

We invite the public to research our region’s history in the SDHC Research Archives without paying a traditional admission price. Your admission to our research archives has been donated by a generous supporter. After visiting our archives, we invite you to GIVE FORWARD to a future researcher and support their visit. Our suggested minimum donation is $10.00.

For information about student tours: School Programs