Museum Etiquette

Welcome to the San Diego History Center!

Prior to entering the galleries, please go over our museum behavior guidelines with your students. If you have any questions or concerns during your visit, please ask the Visitor Services Assistant located at the front desk.


Museum Store: If your students plan on going in the Store, please accompany them. The Store is a part of the Museum and chaperones must stay with their groups at all times. 

Chaperones: Please make sure there is at least one (1) adult chaperone for every eight (8) students. Chaperones should understand and model museum etiquette at all times. They are encouraged to facilitate meaningful discussions within their group, and to guide positive behaviors. Chaperones should always have an immediate method of contacting the teacher(s). It is helpful to plan a meeting point for the end of your visit if you are separating into smaller groups.

Touching: Whether it is a fragile object or a seemingly sturdy object, all artifacts are capable of being damaged. Never touch displayed artifacts or Plexiglas cases unless you are specifically told otherwise. It is usually best to stay at least arm’s length from any displayed object and “point” with a flat hand.

Photography: The photographing of objects is allowed so long as the flash is turned off

Media release forms: Media release forms will be issued to visitors whom are willing to be photographed during their visit. Special forms are provided for the guardians of minors.   

Cell phones: We generally ask visitors to put their cell phones and other electronic devices on silent and refrain from having phone conversations while in the galleries.  

Voice Level: Out of consideration for other visitors in the museum, please use low, library level voices to talk. This is especially important in instances where other visitors may be trying to listen to guided tours. You may always ask questions of the museum staff.

Pencils and Paper:  It is acceptable to bring sketchpads, notebooks, and erasable pencils into the galleries for taking notes. Ink pens are not allowed in the museum.

Backpacks: Avoid bringing any bulky backpacks or large purses. If you do, you will probably be asked to check it. Large objects slung over your shoulder might bump a display or artifact and damage it.

Food and Drinks: No food or beverages are allowed in exhibit areas. Lunches may be placed next to the benches in the atrium or checked at the front desk.  

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