About Max Kirkeberg Collection

For the past 50 years, Professor Emeritus Max Kirkeberg has documented the urban geography of the the San Francisco Bay Area in almost 60,000 slides.  Kirkeberg arrived in San Francisco in 1965 to take a position in the San Francisco State University Geography Department, and quickly became enamored with the city. His collection of just under 60,000 photos were a by-product of his field classes, walking tours, and related slide lectures of the various San Francisco neighborhoods, offered since the early 1970s.  These images of streets, architecture, development, landscapes, culture, and geographical highlights provide an encompassing picture of the diverse neighborhoods that make up San Francisco, as well as the features and regions beyond it in the greater Bay Area.   (more)

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Alamo Square

Alamo Square, a historic district of San Francisco, is one of Kirkeberg's most well-documented and favored neighborhoods.  Kirkeberg's documentation of Alamo Square includes the boundaries of Divisadero Street, Hayes Street, Webster Street, and Golden Gate Avenue, and excludes blocks that were included in redevelopment.  This region of...

Alcatraz Island

Kirkeberg's collection of images from Alcatraz Island and Federal Penitentiary was developed over a series of visits to the Island in 1973, 1977, 1981, and 1989.  The collection also includes views of Alcatraz taken from San Francisco or from ferries in the San Francisco Bay.  

Angel Island, Treasure Island, & Yerba Buena Island

Kirkeberg's documentation of the assorted islands in the San Francisco Bay includes images of Angel Island, Treasure Island, and Yerba Buena Island. The images document the geography and topography of the islands, as well as important architectural and historical features and events. 

Ashbury Heights

Ashbury Heights is narrowly defined as a small neighborhood bounded by 17th Street, Stanyan Street, Clarendon Avenue, and Twin Peaks Boulevard. Almost all of Kirkeberg's Ashbury Heights images are of or are from Tank Hill, located at the eastern end of Belgrave Avenue.

Bernal Heights - North

The northern area of Kirkeberg's Bernal Heights collection consists of the streets that are an extension of the compass-oriented Mission District: The boundaries consist of Coso Avenue on the west, Peralta Avenue on the east, Cesar Chavez Street on the north, and Bernal Heights Boulevard on the south.  Precita Valley makes up much of...

Bernal Heights - Northeast

This is the neighborhood that collection creator Max Kirkeberg has called home for 45 years, which has proved very handy for his camera.  At last count, this neighborhood alone totaled 823 slides.  This area could also be called "Peralta Heights," instead of "Northeast Bernal Heights" since the ridge extending from Bernal Hill...

Bernal Heights - South

The southern area of Bernal Heights includes images from Holly Park, St. Mary's Park, and the surrounding area.  

Castro District

Kirkeberg's Castro collection documents the elements of change in the famously gay neighborhood, particularly its evolution from the "hedonistic" 1970s into the AIDS-dominated 1980s and 1990s, and recently into a "hyper-gay" tourist landscape.  The Castro collection shown here only documents the commercial center of the neighborhood, mainly...

Eureka Valley

The flatter parts of Eureka Valley were developed in the late 19th century, resulting in a landscape that is predominately modest Victorian row housing.  Except at the western edge, the street grid is a classic San Francisco grid of rectangular blocks and straight, compass-oriented streets.  In terms of understanding the Eureka...

Mission District - Industrial Areas

The industrial area of the Mission District is bounded by four regions, also shown in DIVA:  "MN" (Mission North) on the west, "SMw" (South of Market West) in the north, "SMsw" (South of Market South West) on the northeast and "Pot" (Potrero Hill) on the east. It is a flat sub-region in the northeast sector of the...

Mission District - San Francisco General Hospital & Neighborhood

This is one of the smaller sub-regions of the Mission, and is bounded on the west by Potrero Avenue, on the east by the James Lick Freeway (U.S. 101), forming a long, narrow north-south region with only 3 north-south streets: Utah, San Bruno and Vermont.  The northern half is composed of the buildings of San Francisco...

Mission District - Valencia Street

Valencia Street, from Market Street to 28th Street where it ends, is a flat street with a mix of commercial, industrial, and residential land uses, setting it apart from nearby streets that are mostly residential.  Nearby, to the east, is the main shopping area of Mission Street.  Mission Street is often seen as a heavy-duty...

San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay collection includes four sections: Views from high-rise buildings and airplanes; general views of the Bay including ships and boats; South Bay salt ponds; and views of San Francisco taken from the Bay itself.

San Francisco Bay Bridge

Kirkeberg's collection of Bay Bridge images were taken from various San Francisco high-rises, hills, helicopters and cars, and the Embarcadero.

San Francisco International Airport

Kirkeberg's images of the San Francisco International Airport include views of the various terminals, art, and aerial views of the airport layout itself.


The Max Kirkeberg Collection is maintained by Academic Technology in collaboration with Emeritus Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and the SF State Geography Department.
All resources are available for public use provided that images and content are cited and attributed to the Max Kirkeberg Collection.

For questions about the collection please contact geog@sfsu.edu.