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Inventory of The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin newspaper photograph archive and newsclipping files, ca. 1915-September, 1965
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin newspaper photograph archive and newsclipping files,
    Date: ca. 1915-September, 1965
    Creator: San Francisco Call

    San Francisco Call Bulletin

    San Francisco News-Call Bulletin

    News-Call Bulletin
    Extent: 1,280 cartons (ca. 1.2 million photographic prints) and ca. 4.5 million newsclippings
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: This collections chiefly consists of photographic prints and newsclippings from the files of The News-Call Bulletin and its predecessors, The Call Bulletin The Call, The San Francisco News, which were daily newspapers of San Francisco, Calif.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin photograph archive was given jointly to the San Francisco Public Library and to The Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley.
    A gift of ca. 50,000 negatives was made by The News-Call Bulletin to The Bancroft Library in 1959-1960. These negatives, dating from ca. 1915-1939 were given at the time that The News and The Call Bulletin merged to form The News-Call Bulletin. (See Historical Note in finding aid for entire dispersed collection.)
    With the merging of The News-Call Bulletin with The San Francisco Examiner in September of 1965, the Hearst Corporation made a gift of all subsequent files of The News-Call Bulletin. The photo and newsclipping library (or "morgue") of The San Francisco News was presented to the San Francisco Public Library in 1966. The clippings and photographs in this donation cover the period from 1927 through August 10, 1959, the date of the merger of The San Francisco News and Hearst's Call Bulletin.
    Subsequently, The San Francisco Examiner division of the Hearst Corporation offered the remaining Call Bulletin and News-Call Bulletin library to the library. The size of this second donation exceeded that of the earlier San Francisco News library gift. The time period covered by the Call Bulletin and News-Call Bulletin morgue is from about 1930 to September 1965, the year of the merger of the News-Call Bulletin with the Examiner. The collection was formally deeded to the San Francisco Public library on June 9, 1969, but appears to have been physically transferred prior to that date.
    With the 1965 merger of the News-Call Bulletin with the Examiner, the photographic negative files of the Call Bulletin and News-Call Bulletin were given by the Hearst Corporation to The Bancroft Library. They were added to the initial 1959 gift of pre-1939 negatives.


    Advance notice required for use. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed to the Photo Desk of the San Francisco History Center, the San Francisco Public Library. The Photo Desk is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-5pm and Saturdays from 10am-5pm.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The San Francisco Public Library for all materials for which the donor owned copyright. Materials created by other agencies or individuals may be under copyright retained elsewhere. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs, the San Francisco History Center of the San Francisco Public Library.
    Any permission for publication that is granted for images with copyright residing elsewhere is given on behalf of The San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the user.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin newspaper photograph archive and newsclipping files, The San Francisco Public Library.

    Scope and Content

    Scope and Content Note

    The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin photograph archive and clippings files represent the working files created and used by the staff of The Call, The Call Bulletin, The News, and The News-Call Bulletin newspapers between ca. 1915 and September 1965. (For an explanation of the relationship between these papers, see the Historical Note section of the finding aid for the entire dispersed collection.) All of the files cover news events of local, state, national, and international importance. While the emphasis is on local events of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area, images and subjects from around the world are present, particularly in the form of photographic prints from news agencies and wire services.

    Photographic prints

    The photographic print files are primarily composed of images from news agencies and wire services depicting national and international events and people. These are interfiled with photographic prints made by local staff photographers and with studio portraits and promotional photographs supplied to the newspaper by families or agencies. It should be noted that the original Call Bulletin staff photographs present appear to be the images actually used for publication, as evident from pre-publication marking, cropping, and retouching. The dates represented appear to be ca. 1915-1965, but some earlier submitted portraits are included. The predominant format is 8x10 inch, but images of many sizes are present.
    The main strength of the collection is coverage of local San Francisco Bay Area news events and people. Political, social, and cultural leaders, crime victims and suspects, celebrities, athletes and sporting events, accident scenes and victims, street scenes, shipping and waterfront views, and buildings are among the common subjects. Portraits and views of individuals at events predominate. Studio portraits of private citizens and promotional views submitted for publicity are present, and events across the nation and around the world are represented by photographs from news agencies and wire services.


    The clippings files consist of approximately 1,228 cubic feet of newsclippings stored in 273 filing cabinets. These files are estimated to contain 4.5 million clippings, filed alphabetically by personal names, subjects and geographic locations. They originated as two separate clippings "morgues", one from The San Francisco News (covering ca. 1927-August 10, 1959) and the other from The Call Bulletin and The News-Call Bulletin (covering ca. 1930-September 1965.) Both papers covered local, statewide, regional, national and international events and personalities, with a strong emphasis on local coverage.


    The majority of the photographic print files remain in their original order, as received by the library. Photographs of San Francisco places (buildings, streets, etc.) and portraits of famous individuals in state and local history are exceptions to this. Many of these have been removed to the general photographic subject files of The San Francisco History Center where they have been interfiled with images from numerous different sources.
    The files that were not broken up and distributed to library subject files are divided into seven series, with an alphabetic code assigned to each series. The first five series appear to be from The Call Bulletin and The News-Call Bulletin, and the final two series are the files of The San Francisco News. Since these two groupings represent the files of separate newspapers over a roughly parallel period, there is significant overlap in content.
    All of the series include interfiled Call Bulletin staff photographs, submitted photographs (studio portraits or promotional photos), and wire or news agency photographs. (Approximately 40% of the "People" files and probably up to 90% of some geographic files are from news agencies.) The alphabetic codes and their contents are summarized in the following table. Files are arranged alphabetically by subject within these codes.
    Newspaper clippings are arranged alphabetically in vertical files under personal names, subjects and geographic locations.

    Related Collections

    Additional related collections are held by several San Francisco Bay Area institutions. An overview of this material is available as an archival finding aid for the dispersed photograph and clippings morgues of The Call Bulletin, The News-Call Bulletin, and The San Francisco News, of which the San Francisco History Center holdings are a part. This collective finding aid is also available as part of the Online Archive of California. These institutions are:
    • The Bancroft Library
      • University of California, Berkeley
      • Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
      • Phone: (510) 642-6481
      • Fax: (510) 642-7589
      • Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
      • URL: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ 
      • Electronic Finding Aid
    • The San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
      • Historical Documents Department and the J. Porter Shaw Library
      • Third Floor, Building E, Fort Mason
      • San Francisco, CA 94123
      • Reference Requests: 415-556-9870
      • Permissions to Publish: 415-556-2834
      • Fax: 415-556-3540
      • URL: http://www.nps.gov/safr/local/hddquery.html 
      • Electronic Finding Aid
    • The National Maritime Museum Association
      • USS Pampanito
      • P.O. Box 470310
      • San Francisco, CA 94147-0310
      • (415) 775-1943
    • US Navy Museum at Treasure Island
      • [No contact information available. Museum has been closed and disposition of collections is under review, Spring 1999.]