Archives & Records

Muir Woods gravity car ticket
Ticket for Muir Woods gravity car, 1913, GOGA 32470

Park Archives and Records Center (PARC)

The Park Archives and Records Center contains over 5 million documents, photographic images, oral histories and maps that document all areas and facets of the history associated with Golden Gate National Recreation Area. These materials have been acquired through donation, transfer, as well as have been park created. Topics are heavy on the military's presence at the Presidio and the surrounding fortifications (mostly from WWII forward); specific park sites like Alcatraz, Lands End; as well as significant events like the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the Alcatraz Indian Occupation, or 1906 Earthquake and Fire. PARC also houses a large body of inactive park records that document the GGNRA's projects, operations, and activities.

Explore the resources below to discover what the park holds at the Park Archives before you come:

Sutro Heights flower beds postcard

GGNRA Special Collections Guide

The GGNRA Special Collections Guide identifies archival collections together by topic; it is a useful tool in finding collections that are related to your project or interest which may not be obvious in the collection's title. The Guide lists the catalog number, title, and a short description of the collection.
44th infantry man inspecting horse's hoof

Finding aids

In the following pages, selected finding aids for the most commonly requested collections have been listed. Finding aids contain information on the contents and significance of an archival collection and may include descriptive information; repository information; collection history; biographical or historical information on creators of the collection; and in some cases a container or folder list of everything in the collection. Please note that these finding aids are only a handful of the over two thousand collections housed at the Park Archives and Records Center.
Presidio full field inspection on Main Post, 1925

6th U.S. Army Records Collections

PARC houses a large collection of transferred Presidio Army Records pertaining to the Presidio of San Francisco and surrounding military sites. NPS management of these Army records means that there is access to a continual line of information about the natural and cultural resources of lands that were formerly managed by the Department of Defense. The primary contents of this collection include over 1000 linear feet of Army resource records and more than 50,000 engineering drawings and maps of military sites, individual buildings, and coastal defenses.Please note that these records primarily apply to resource management and not personnel. Veterans' service and medical records are available through the National Archives.
Star Presidian June 5, 1953

Digitized Post Newspapers

Three historic newspapers only printed in the Presidio (Golden Gate Guardian, Letterman Fog Horn, and Star Presidian), provide a great deal of insight to the military perspective of local and national events as well as supply names to some of the men and women who served or worked at this site.
Visitors and lawyers using phones in the visitation room on Alcatraz.

Oral Histories

The oral history program at Golden Gate National Recreation Area has been ongoing almost since the creation of the park in 1972. The Park Archives currently holds hundreds of interviews which cover a range of topics and feature voices of those who have been personally involved with the lands that make up the GGNRA. The park is also actively collection stories to widen perspectives and capture more history of lands that now make up the GGNRA as well as the efforts to manage and maintain them.
Movie Projectionist school at Fort Point
Movie Projectionist School c1920

Golden Gate NRA, Park Archives

Moving Histories

The moving histories collection of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area consists of home movies and video publications about the park lands. The Park Archives does not have many, but they cover a range of topics and features views of the lands that make up the GGNRA. Movies are a time capsule creating a glimpse into a way of life. Most of these videos are silent, a testament to the boundaries of technology, but even with no sound the value of these videos to inspire speaks volumes. This collection helps to widen perspectives and share more history of the lands that now make up the GGNRA.

Go further

  • Research

    Additional information about the Park Archives' policies, online resources, and forms.

  • GGNRA Photo Galleries
    GGNRA Photo Galleries

    A selection of historic images of all sites around the GGNRA.

  • historic fort mason with view of alcatraz
    Cultural Resource Publications

    The park has produced historic building reports, cultural landscape reports, preservation manuals and historic resource studies.


Reference Hours

Open Hours Cancelled - Appointments may be available

The Park Archives and Records Center is available by appointment only

Individual appointments are available by calling (415) 561-2808 or Contact Us

The Center is closed for research on all federal holidays. Please check below or call for any additional closures.

Park Archives and Records Center
Park Archives and Records Center - Presidio Building 667


The archives facility is located on the Presidio of San Francisco in Building 667 (click the link for a map), near the intersection of Mc Dowell Avenue and Cowles Street, off of Lincoln Boulevard in one of the 1914 historic brick stable buildings. The building is accessible through the ramp and door on the long side of the building facing the Bay.

Information about public transportation to the Presidio and around it is available on the Presidio Trust's Transportation site.

Please be advised of the changing conditions and detours of the roads in the Presidio during the Doyle Drive construction project. For more information visit the Presidio Parkway website.

Last updated: July 9, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
201 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123


United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

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