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About this collection

What became known as the San Diego Public Library had its beginnings in 1882 on the second floor of the Consolidated Bank Building at Fifth and G Streets in downtown San Diego. The first published catalog, compiled by Lulu Younkin in 1889, listed 7,800 volumes.

 

In the decades since, the San Diego Public Library has grown into a robust stystem comprising thirty-five branches and the central library. Today our collections include more than 3.8 million items, including books, audio-visual materials, and the latest downloadable ebooks. We serve a population of more than 1.3 million residents over a geographic area of 342 square miles (reaching as far north as Rancho Bernardo and as far south as San Ysidro).

 

The photographs collected here provide a visual history the San Diego Public Library system as a whole. For a detailed history of the Central Library, please see the companion collection, Central Library History

Further Reading: Essays on the History of the San Diego Public Library

 
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