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NARA's Pacific Region - San Francisco, CA

National Archives and Records Administration

Overview

NARA's Pacific Region (San Francisco) has more than 48,000 cubic feet of archival holdings dating from 1850 to the 1980s, including textual documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings. These archival holdings were created or received by the Federal courts and more than 100 Federal agencies in northern California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada (except Clark County), American Samoa, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Federal law requires that agencies transfer permanently valuable, noncurrent records to NARA. Among the subjects covered are Chinese exclusion and immigration, the development of Pearl Harbor and mainland coastal fortifications, former World War II defense sites, public land use, national forests, migrant labor camps, and tribal history.

The archival holdings are arranged by record group (abbreviated RG), a body of records from an agency or bureau identified by an RG number. Selected finding aids, including a comprehensive guide to archival holdings, are available by mail and online. Research can be initiated in person, or by telephone, mail, or electronic mail. Individuals who wish to use archival holdings on-site will facilitate their research by calling before visiting. If the number of researchers exceeds research room capacity, those with appointments will receive priority. Before using archival holdings, every researcher must obtain a researcher identification card. An applicant must show identification that includes a photograph, such as a driver's license, school or business identification card, or passport, and complete a short form giving name, address, telephone number, and brief description of the research topic. A researcher ID card, valid for 3 years and renewable, is then issued. It must be presented during each research visit.

Microfilmed records

In addition to unique original records, the San Bruno facility has extensive holdings of National Archives microfilm publications. These publications reproduce basic documentation for the study of history, economics, public administration, political science, law, ethnology, genealogy, and other subjects. Included are records relating to U.S. diplomacy, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Native American-Government relations, westward expansion, Asian immigration, and World War II.

Self-service microfilm readers and reader-printers are available without appointment. A 2-hour limit is imposed when researchers are waiting.

The San Bruno facility has extensive microfilm holdings of value for genealogy research, among them:

  • Federal population censuses for all States, 1790-1930
  • Indexes for the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses (indexes are not available for all census years and all states)
  • Censuses listing residents of American Samoa and Native Americans in California and Nevada
  • Records documenting the removal of Cherokees and other tribes included in the "Oklahoma Removal," ca. 1900
  • Passenger arrival records for the port of San Francisco, 1893-1957
  • Indexes to naturalization records from Federal courts in Honolulu, Reno (NV), and San Francisco
  • Maritime records for San Francisco and other ports
  • Revolutionary war military service records
  • Early pension and bounty land warrant applications
  • Recreational Activities:

    • HISTORIC & CULTURAL SITE

    Address:

    NARA's Pacific Region - San Francisco
    1000 Commodore Drive
    San Bruno,CA,94066-2350
    Phone: 650-238-3501
    Email: sanbruno.archives@nara.gov

    Directions:

    By Car From San Francisco

    Proceed south on Highway 101 and exit at San Bruno Avenue West. Drive west for 2 miles, crossing El Camino Real, to Cherry Avenue. Turn right on Cherry and go north 3 blocks (just past the I-380 overpass), then turn right on Commodore Drive for 2 blocks.

    OR

    Proceed south on I-280, exiting on Sneath Lane. Go east on Sneath to the second traffic light. Turn right on Cherry, then left on Commodore for 2 blocks.

    From the South

    Exit Highway 101 at San Bruno Avenue and proceed west for 2 miles, crossing El Camino Real to Cherry Avenue. Turn right on Cherry and go north 3 blocks (just past the I-380 overpass), then turn right on Commodore Drive for 2 blocks.

    OR

    Exit I-280 at San Bruno Avenue, proceeding east for 1 block. Turn left on Cherry and go north 3 blocks (just past the I-380 overpass), then turn right on Commodore for 2 blocks.

    By Public Transportation

    Bus

    The nearest bus stop is the intersection of El Camino Real and Sneath Lane. Several lines stop there. For route and schedule information, call SamTrans at 800-660-4287 or visit www.samtrans.com. From El Camino and Sneath, walk west on Sneath (away from Tanforan Mall) to Commodore Drive (the first traffic light). Turn left on Commodore, follow the street around several curves approximately one quarter mile. The facility's front entrance will be on your right. Caltrain The facility is about one mile from the San Bruno station. For route and schedule information, call Caltrain at 800-660-4287 or visit www.caltrain.com. From the San Bruno station, exit through the west gate. Go west on Herman Street to its intersection with Huntington Avenue. Follow Huntington north and west as it curls around Tanforan Mall. At the intersection of Huntington and Sneath Lane, follow Sneath west to El Camino Real. From El Camino and Sneath, walk west on Sneath (away from Tanforan Mall) to Commodore Drive (the first traffic light). Turn left on Commodore, follow the street around several curves approximately one quarter mile. The facility's front entrance will be on your right.

    BART

    The facility is about one-half mile from the San Bruno BART station. For fares and schedules visit www.bart.gov. From the station, walk west on Sneath Lane to El Camino Real. From El Camino and Sneath, walk west on Sneath (away from Tanforan Mall) to Commodore Drive (the first traffic light). Turn left on Commodore, follow the street around several curves approximately one quarter mile. The facility's front entrance will be on your right.

    Caltrain

    The facility is about one mile from the San Bruno station. For route and schedule information, call Caltrain at 800-660-4287 or visit www.caltrain.com. From the San Bruno station, exit through the west gate. Go west on Herman Street to its intersection with Huntington Avenue. Follow Huntington north and west as it curls around Tanforan Mall. At the intersection of Huntington and Sneath Lane, follow Sneath west to El Camino Real. From El Camino and Sneath, walk west on Sneath (away from Tanforan Mall) to Commodore Drive (the first traffic light). Turn left on Commodore, follow the street around several curves approximately one quarter mile. The facility's front entrance will be on your right.

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