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San Diego History Center

The museum showcases the region's unique, colorful and diverse history with dynamic, changing exhibitions about San Diego – past, present and future. Drawing on the History Center’s vast collections of artifacts, artwork, historic clothing, textiles, art and photographs detailing life and development of the region we feature hands-on, family-friendly, exhibits. The Library contains extensive resources including documents, maps, books, oral histories and one of the largest historic photograph collections in the western U.S. 


SDHC open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Memorial Day through August 6 open THURSDAY until 8pm. Archives open M-F 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(619) 232-6203
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Make your next play date go down in history! Get to know other families while the kids enjoy crafts, entertaining activities and a special story time. All programs engage children in the history of the San Diego region. History for Half Pints is for children ages 3 -5 years and a favorite adult.

Located on the lower level of Casa de Balboa, the San Diego History Center's library is home to extensive collections that document the people, places and stories of San Diego past and present. The collections in the library constitute a rich documentation of the region's history. Open to the public, researchers can access San Diego history through books, ephemera, original maps, manuscripts, architectural drawings, and public records, as well as SDHC's extensive photograph collection.

View collections information.

Hours: Wed. – Sat., 9:30am-1pm
Contact:  Call (619) 232-6203.

Discover San Diego’s rich history through family-friendly interactive displays at the San Diego History Center! Current exhibitions include Lore Behind the Roar! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo, Irving J. Gill: New Architecture for a Great Country, Animal Aesthetics: Decades of Design at the San Diego Zoo, The Border: A Line That Divides, and Place of Promise: The Story of San Diego.

Find a selection of vintage, exhibition-themed, and locally-sourced gifts in the History Store.  

San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101

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