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

Please note the following special closures: 

  • No special closures at this time.

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

  • No unavailabilities 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 fee. Your admission to our Research Archives has been donated by a generous supporter. After visiting our archives, we ask you to determine the value of your visit and invite you to GIVE FORWARD to a future researcher and support their visit. Our suggested minimum donation is $10.00.