Photograph Collection

Welcome to the Photograph Collection at San Diego History Center

What do you want to do?

These digital prints are ordered directly online and will be mailed to you. Images in the digital photo gallery many not be used for reproduction. Many of our 2.5 million images are not on the website presently and not all of the images on our website are in the digital photo gallery. If you need help locating a particular image or if you need to order an image for reproduction please contact the photograph archives.

If you need an image for reproduction purposes, click here for a reproduction order form. To help us identify the image, please include the negative number and a description on your order form. If the negative number is not known, include a link to the page along with your reproduction order form. All image use, other than home, business display, or research will have an additional use fee. Payment in full is required before the order will be processed.

Containing over 2.5 million images, the Booth Historical Photograph Archives is a collection of regional, national and international significance. This vast collection allows for in-depth examination into the rapidly changing cultural, political and social mores of the region and insight into the people and the environment of San Diego from the late 19th, 20th, and early 21st century.

These images are not free and are not clip art. They should not be downloaded for any reason.

There are several different ways that photos can be ordered from San Diego History Center, depending on the intended use. If you have any questions about how to order a photograph, please contact the photograph archives at or call (619) 232-6203 x127.

Finding Aids

Finding Aid for the Photograph Collection


Portrait of a Proud Community: Norman Baynard's Logan Heights, 1939-1985
Edward H. Davis Collection of Indian Photographs and Drawings 1900s-1940s
California Border Region Digitization Project
Guide to the Union Tribune Photo Collection
California Explores the Ocean

Photo gallery

San Diegans and their automobiles
Early San Diego theaters
Photographs by Antony di Gesu of prominent San Diegans and others
San Diego sports
Motorcycles in early San Diego
Donal Hord, complete works of San Diego’s sculptor
San Diego diners from 1947
Early San Diego breweries
San Diego’s historic streetcars
Early San Diego amusement parks
Photographs by Ralph P. Stineman, 1910-1915
Photographs of Native Americans by Edward H. Davis
San Diego cityscape, early photos of San Diego’s skyline

Early San Diego on postcards

Images in the Postcard and Card Photo Sections are for Research only. A number of the postcards in this virtual collection have been shared with San Diego History Center and are not the property of SDHC. Many of these images are not available for reproduction. Please enjoy the digital images. 

Old postcards from San Diego’s many communities
Postcard views of the El Cortez Hotel
Panama-California Exposition, 1915-1916
California Pacific Exposition, 1935-1936

Card photographs or view cards

Images in the Postcard and Card Photo Sections are for Research only. They are not available for reproduction.

Stereoscopic views of San Diego from 1870 to 1935
Ranches of San Diego County
Rural San Diego County
People of San Diego
California Missions
Construction of flume brings water to San Diego
Schoolchildren 100 years ago
Ships in early San Diego harbor
Indians near Warner Springs
Downtown San Diego
San Diego County Hotels
On the beaches

If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, or to request permission to reproduce these images by any means including: in books, magazines, film, television, the web, or any other use, please contact us directly at

Guide to Photograph Collection
Access Fees
Production Fees
Print Price List
Photo Reproduction Order Form

To order images that are not available above at our online site, fill out the above photograph reproduction order form, tell us which page from our web site contains image(s) that you would like and either fax it to: (619) 232-1059 or mail to: Research Library, 1649 El Prado, Suite 3, San Diego, CA 92101. Please include negative numbers. In most cases, the negative number is contained in the URL of the web page and will be printed by your browser at the top of the page. Payment in full is required before the order will be processed.