May 19, 2022

San Francisco Opens Its Trove of 94,000 Historic Property Photos to the Public

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Glen Park historian Evelyn Rose has always known that her home was moved from the Sunnyside district in 1960 to make way for Interstate 280. But she doesn’t know from exactly where, or what it looked like after it was dragged up the steep block of Mizpah Street to a hillside lot.

On Wednesday, May 1, Rose was finally able to access evidence to help clue her in when the San Francisco Assessor’s Office released 94,000 historic property photographs. Rose was among the first to type her address into a newly established database. Rose was set to come back a day later to the San Francisco History Center at the Main Library, put on a pair of white gloves, and hold in her hand an original print image of her home.


“These images are incredible,” said city librarian Michael Lambert. “Some of these buildings don’t exist anymore.”


The library’s participation follows the San Francisco Scale Model, a miniature wooden city from 1940.  Hidden away for decades, it was restored this year and distributed in sections to each neighborhood’s corresponding library branch. The exhibit was so popular it had to be extended by a month, and it attracted more than 1 million viewers.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.