|National Archives at San Francisco
- Leo J. Ryan Memorial Federal Building
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, California 94066-2350
Hours and holidays: Monday through Friday, 7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., with extended hours on Wednesday until 5:30 P.M. Closed weekends and federal holidays.
Directions and public transportation:
Internet sites and databases:
- National Archives Pacific Region at San Francisco holdings, services, resources, what's new, nearby Presidential libraries.
- Genealogy Research San Francisco branch resources.
- National Archives Online Microfilm Catalog allows you to identify microfilms at San Bruno. Search by microfilm publication number, or keywords.
- Access to Archival Databases (AAD) a search engine into some of NARA's holdings of electronic records. Search by person, geographic areas, organizations, or dates.
- Archival Research Catalog (ARC) the online catalog of over 63% of NARA's nationwide holdings. Searches by keywords, by location, organization, person, or topics, and for digitized images.
- Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) American history and government, archival administration, information management, and government documents for archivists, librarians, and the public.
Over 70,000 cubic feet of records 1850s to 1980s, and some recent as the early 2000s. These records were generated by the Federal courts and more than 100 Federal agency field offices in:
- California (northern and central)
- Nevada (except Clark County)
- American Samoa
- Marshall Islands
- Caroline Islands (now Federated States of Micronesia)
- Northern Mariana Islands
- U.S. Navy bases on foreign territory in the Pacific and Far East.
They have the resources for studying Asian-Pacific immigration, environmental and natural history, naval and military activity in the Pacific, the American Indian experience, and many other aspects of United States history. Genealogical records include federal censuses and some indexes, censuses for American Samoa and American Indians in California and Nevada, the Five Civilized Tribes, San Francisco passenger arrivals, maritime records for west coast ports, Revolutionary War service records, bounty land warrants, and naturalizations, naturalization indexes for San Francisco, Honolulu, and Reno.
- A researcher I.D. card is required. To obtain it you must show photo identification, and fill out a form showing your name, address, telephone number, and a brief description of the proposed research topic.
- Over 68% of the Regional Archives' records are currently described in ARC at the series level. If you do not find the records you are seeking, please contact the Pacific Region San Francisco staff.
- Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives at San Francisco record group level descriptions of archival holdings including agency administrative history.
- Federal Records Guide Search NARA's holdings of federal records at a very high level, to identify which record groups may have material about your research topics. Alphabetical index to the Federal Records Guide. Record Groups by topic clusters in the Federal Records Guide.
- Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States including U.S. District Courts, census, customs, immigration and naturalization, public health, and U.S. Marshalls.
- Alcatraz penitentiary inmates alphabetical index.
- Case files for early immigrants to San Francisco and Hawaii indexed by surname.
- Records for the Study of Ethnic History in the National Archives at San Francisco including African Americans, Asian Indians, Asian Pacific Islanders, Chinese and Chinese Americans, Filipinos, Japanese and Japanese Americans, Latin Americans, and Native Americans.
- Loretto Dennis Szucs, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1988), 22-24. At various respositories (WorldCat). FHL Book 977 A3sz. Describes each field branch collection, microfilms, services and activities. Each of 150 record groups of the archives is also described.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the National Archives at San Francisco, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.
- National Archives II, College Park, MD, Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and Treasury all after 1900.
- National Archives at Riverside holding records of southern California, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. CA Indian enrollments, Asian immigrants, naturalizations, land records, AZ taxes, sailors, censuses, military post returns, Five Civilized Tribes, Revolutionary War, Civil War records, passenger arrival lists, Mexican and Canadian border crossings, passport applications.
- American Samoa Territorial Archives.
- Guam Public Library System.
- Federated States of Micronesia Archives.
- National Archives of the Marshall Islands.
- California State Library (Sacramento) censuses, great registers, city directories, CA historical newspapers, genealogical periodicals, death index 1905-1995, marriage index 1949-1986.
- Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda, White House tapes, textual records, and office files.
- Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, textual records, photos, papers and speeches.
- National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO., has millions of military personnel, health, medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services starting with World War I, and federal employee records.
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and records pertaining to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Bancroft Library, Berkeley, premier Western Americana, and Latin Americana collections, including Native Americans, Spanish encounter and colonial settlement, exploration of western America, maps and atlases, the Mexican War, westward migration, the Gold Rush, mining, land surveys, religious and Utopian communities, and ethnic communities.
- Sutro Library, San Francisco, most extensive genealogy collection west of Salt Lake City.
- San Mateo County Clerk-Recorder births, marriages, deaths, deeds, military discharge papers.
- San Mateo County Superior Court civil records, adoptions, probate, family, and criminal records.
- San Mateo County Genealogical Society clippings, obituaries, mortuaries, sheriff's bookings, deeds index, marriage and death indexes.
- San Mateo County Historical Association 1400 books, photo, newspaper clippings, documents, letters, manuscripts, many maps, some city and county government records.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus
- African American Museum and Library at Oakland interprets their experience in CA and the West.
- California State Archives, Sacramento, has county records, such as court records, prison records, wills, deeds, as well as military records, state census records, and school records.
- California Historical Society, San Francisco, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage including 50,000 books, 4,000 manuscripts, photos, maps, newspapers, and artifacts.
- California Genealogical Society and Library, Oakland, family, local, and state histories, maps, reference books, periodicals, the Bay Area, Gold Rush, New England, mid-Atlantic states and others.
- Chinese Historical Society, San Francisco, Chinese-American history, including art, and artifacts.
- Repositories in other surrounding states: Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Baja California, Mexico Genealogy, Sonora, Mexico Genealogy.
- State Library of Arizona, Phoenix, censuses, genealogical periodicals, immigration and naturalization records, New England town vital records, DE PA and NJ Archives, Internet sites.
- Hawaii State Library, Honolulu, federal documents, Hawaii and Pacific, language, and history.
- Nevada State Library and Archives, Carson City, births, marriages, deaths, censuses, military.
- Oregon State Archives, Salem, country records and histories, territorial papers, early settlers database, adoptions, census, land, military, naturalization, probate, and vital records.
- Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), Mexico City, church, civil, census, court, history, military, migration, land.