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.


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 

Effective May 15th we will be changing our Research Archive hours as follows:

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

Please note the following special closures: None at this time.


We invite the public to research our region’s history in the SDHC Research Archives during walk-in research hours 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.