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Best Archive Full of Tricks San Francisco 2013 - San Francisco History Center

San Francisco History Center

100 Larkin St.

San Francisco, CA 94102


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Heat rises, and so does the quality of materials at the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. The San Francisco History Center is tucked behind closed but not locked doors on the sixth floor, where the entirety of the city and county archives live. The research collection includes police records on prostitutes and pickpockets of the Barbary Coast, aerial views taken in 1938, 19th-Century menus, more than 10,000 postcards, 600 broadsides, sheet music from 1847, and "pocket lawyers" circulated throughout the LGBT community during the 1960s. They have ephemera related to everything from fortune cookies to the Zodiac killer, but unlike most archives, you don't need a Ph.D. to request materials — just a good ol' library card.

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Glad to see a heads up for the History Center.  When we at Volcano Press were researching additional, previously unknown info on Coit Tower and some of the vital issues which surrounded the murals and their artists, we not only found newspaper archives, but personal attention from busy librarians.  Bless them all!

We were updating our book entitled COIT TOWER;  ITS HISTORY AND ART...more relevant than ever today.

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