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

(619) 232- 6203 x 117

For a location map: Balboa Park Map


Research Archive hours (effective May 15, 2017):

Monday & Tuesday (9am-5pm) – One-on-One Appointments Only

Wednesday – Friday (9:30am-1pm) – Walk-In Research – No Appointment Necessary

Wednesday – Friday (1:30pm-5pm) – One-on-One Appointments Only

Special Closures

The Document Archives will be unavailable the following days with the exception of the subject files, biographical files, and City Directories:

  • There will be limited access to the documents archives on Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19.
  • The Research Archives will be closed Friday, September 20.


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.