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We are An Archive and a platform


Located in San Francisco, California the Museum of Performance + Design, formerly the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, is the only independent, non-profit art organization in the United States devoted to preserving the history of the performing arts and theatrical design. We collect and make accessible materials about the performing arts, with a special emphasis on documenting and preserving San Francisco Bay Area’s rich and diverse performing arts heritage from the Gold Rush to the present. We produce public and educational programs, provide library services to researchers, and conservation and archival services to performing artists and arts institutions. Our collection includes personal papers of prominent artists, original costumes and design renderings, audio-visual recordings of live performances, original artwork, other artifacts and ephemera. The Museum also serves as the official archives for many local performing arts organizations including the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, Stern Grove Festival, and the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.

Accessing the collection

Open research hours are Wed. & Thu. 1 - 5pm (There will be no research hours on March 2 2017)

For other days and time please contact:

Kirsten Tanaka, Head Librarian


exhibitions & tours


Performance Alive

an audio tour by warren-crow+warren-crow


Wed. - Fri., 12:30pm - 5:30pm

FREE through the summer with $5 suggested donation/headset

Opera and costume Designs

Through June 2018

War Memorial Opera House, Lower Lounge Cafe

Accessible with performance ticket

Group tours of the archive


$5 per person/5 persons min.

News & Updates