San Francisco Public Library Branch Archives > Collections

Chinatown Branch Library becomes Chinatown/Him Mark Lai Branch Library, November 4, 2010.

Chinatown Branch Library, built in 1921 by architect G. Albert Lansburgh is a Carnegie library originally named the North Beach Branch. It is the third branch in the system. Located in Chinatown, on Powell Street between Washington and Jackson, the name was changed in 1958 to more accurately reflect the community served. In 1972, the Chinese language, and the Chinese American Interest collections were started in response to the needs and interests of the Chinatown community. In 1991, public and private funds were obtained for a major renovation and expansion of the Chinatown Branch Library. The branch was seismically retrofitted and expanded to twice its original size with a community meeting room and story-room available to use for programs and special events. The Grand Reopening of the Chinatown Branch Library was held on June 15, 1996.

Chinatown Housing

Chinatown Housing

682 photos

Chinatown Education

Chinatown Education

116 photos

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

2 photos

Chinese Hospital

Chinese Hospital

129 photos

Angel Island

Angel Island

383 photos

Chinese Schools

Chinese Schools

80 photos

Crimes in Chinatown

Crimes in Chinatown

149 photos

Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies

36 photos

Kearny Bridge

Kearny Bridge

5 photos

Portsmouth Square

Portsmouth Square

51 photos