Local History Collection

The South San Francisco Local History Collection is devoted to the historical development and current events of South San Francisco. The Local History Collection was established in 1967 and is located in the basement of the Grand Ave. Library, 306 Walnut Avenue. It was originally located at 840 West Orange Ave., in the main Library, and was moved to its present location around 1980.

Collections and Format

The History Collection can be searched by consulting the subject files. These files include pamphlets, newspaper clippings and other written material about South San Francisco. The South San Francisco Enterprise Journal is available on microfilm from 1895 to present. Other materials that are preserved in the History Room are the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce business directories, 1964 to present, South San Francisco’s budgets and general plans, photographs, oral history tapes, city government records and maps. The books in the History Room they cannot be borrowed or removed from the library. WPA (Works Progress Administration) paintings as well as works by local artists are displayed in our collection.


There are approximately 2000 photographs, slides from the 1850s to the present. The collection also contains local school photographs and yearbooks from 1917 to present.

Genealogy and Building Research

This part of the History Collection consists of general genealogical reference materials, city directories (1905, 1908, 1929, 1938, and 1940), local telephone books from 1979 to the present, photocopies of the local telephone books (1912, 1915, 1920, 1937, 1942, and 1944), a historic building survey (1986), Sanborn Maps (1910 and 1929), South San Francisco zoning and area maps (1840s to present), Historic Preservation and Old House Journal magazines, and Oral History tapes.