Film photography by Michelle Kilfeather
San Francisco city archivist Susan Goldstein was drawn to history from a young age. She left her childhood home in Southern California to go to college out east. After a stint in Phoenix, she went to Austin where she worked in photo archiving at the University of Texas. In 1984, she came to the Bay Area to work on union archives at SF State.
In Part 1, she talks about her evolution as an archivist and historian. She goes into detail about her work at SF State, which brought her face to face with our city's rich labor union history.
What if, in the early days of your new job, you were tasked with these two things: 1. Moving a fabled city's collection of thousands of historical records (official papers, photos, ephemera, etc.) to a new building, and 2. Essentially establishing and adding to that city's archives. That's what life was like for Susan back when the public library moved into its current building.
In Part 2, Susan talks in-depth about her work and our city's official archive. If you're half the history nerd that we are, get ready. And be sure to listen through to hear how you can experience the collection first-hand.
We recorded this podcast in the Rare Books Room at the San Francisco Public Library in June 2019.