Research Archives

The Research Archives provides onsite public access to the Photograph Collection and the Document Archives, the region’s largest collection of materials documenting 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 oral histories. The Photograph Collection has over 2 ½ million images. The Research Archives serves students, historians, researchers and the general public.


Research Archives

Lower level of the San Diego History Center in the Casa de Balboa
1649 El Prado, Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101
For a location map: Balboa Park Map
(619) 232- 6203 x 117


PLEASE NOTE: In-person Library and Research Resources are currently unavailable until further notice. While we are currently working on providing our visitors and researchers with digital access to our collections, under special circumstances, we are able to answer some questions via email or phone. Please email our Collections Department at for any questions related to the photo collection, document archives, and 3-D object collection, which includes historic clothing, fine art, and ephemera, furniture and objects of everyday life.


Give Forward is our donation-based admission policy. We don’t charge a fixed admission fee but look to your generosity to help make history accessible to all in our community, including those who otherwise may not be able to experience it. Suggested minimum donation: $5.