Looking for more images from San Francisco’s rich history? Here we list some of our favorite free online resources for research, education, and enjoyment.
Remember that not everything is online. Some of the Bay Area’s great institutions have only a small portion of their collections online. We recommend in-person visits to the San Francisco History Center, the California Historical Society, The Society of California Pioneers, The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the California State Library, and the GGNRA Archives.
San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection
San Francisco History Center of the San Francisco Public Library
40,000 images from the city’s official archive.
A map tool to browse the SF library’s great collection
Another neat mapping tool with curated collections
SFMTA Photography Department & Archive
Beautiful and informative collection of transit and landmarks
1951 San Francisco Assessors Negatives
Curated by Western Neighborhoods Project
An online collection of SF buildings, grand and humble from 1951
David Rumsey Map Collection
More than maps (which are amazing), see the collection of aerial photographs of the entire city in 1938
Calisphere (University of California)
Images from the state’s great libraries, archives, and museums
Golden Gate National Recreation Area Park Archives
National Park Service
Jesse Brown Cook Scrapbooks
Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
Lots of candid views of many SF street scenes
Lawrence & Houseworth Albums
The Society of California Pioneers
1,495 Historical Photographs of California and Nevada, including 296 of San Francisco in the 1860s
Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection
1,788 color images of San Francisco in mid 20th Century
Max Kirkeberg Collection
Photographs of San Francisco neighborhoods from the 1970s to the present, collected and shot by the SF State geography professor emeritus.