San Diego History Center

The San Diego History Center presents engaging, family-friendly exhibitions with participatory activities that tell the remarkable stories of the San Diego region – past, present, and future. They also offer popular public programs and special events.

The History Center presents dynamic, engaging exhibitions highlighting what makes San Diego unique and the region’s emerging role in the 21st century. Serving as a lifelong learning center for all members of the community, providing outstanding educational programs for school children and popular programs for families and adults. The Research Archives serves residents, scholars, students, and researchers onsite and online.  The History Center has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2013.

See the vast regionally and even nationally significant collections encompassing 45 million documents – business, public and architectural records, maps, diaries and manuscripts; 2.5 million historic photographs, one of the most important collections in the western U.S.; 1,700 oral histories, the largest collection in California; 1,500 films, some rare and historic; 15,000 historic objects, including artifacts dating back to the Kumeyaay; 7,000 items of historic clothing, one of the finest collections in the U.S.; and a significant collection of San Diego artwork!

The History Center is located in the heart of historic Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park, with 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, stunning architecture and gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is the cultural center of San Diego, a city renowned for its ocean beaches, scenic natural sites, entertainment attractions and world-class amenities.


Contact San Diego History Center

(619) 232-6203


Map & Directions

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