Using the Archives

Archives are collected and organized based on the concept of a 'record' which can be a paper document, a photograph, a film, sound recordings, photographic negatives, and slides. Collecting records differentiates an archives from a library, which collects published items, like books and magazines, or a museum, which collects artifacts like costumes, set pieces, props, or other items. 

Archival holdings are arranged according to principles of provenance, original order and respect des fonds, which seek to preserve the context in which records were made or received by their creator over time. They are not organized by subject contents but rather by the person or organization that accumulated them. Finding Aids and Research Guides can aid users in navigating the themes and subjects contained in the archival collections. 

Photo identification must be presented and registration is required prior to accessing materials in the Archives, Museum and Oral History collections. No food, drink, pens or indelible pencils are permitted when accessing collections materials. Researchers may be required to wear non-latex or cotton gloves when handling artifacts or fragile documents. Paper and pencils are available on site. Researchers wishing to use digital cameras (or camera equipped mobile phones) are asked to consult the Foundation staff on duty prior to use. Digital copies of materials may be available. Foundation staff will be available to answer research questions and to help users navigate the BMF cross-collection database.

Users wishing to publish or license content from the BMF Archives must inquire with the collections staff regarding the intellectual rights (e.g. copyright) attached to the materials. Users must cite the Foundation as a source with an appropriate credit line and, if a particular material is copyrighted, must cite all copyright information and comply with all other terms or restrictions that may be applicable to that material. Permission to examine physical records, born-digital materials, printed copies or digitized items is not an authorization to publish. If the content in question is under copyright, permission to publish should be sought from the owners of the rights, typically the creator or heir to the creator's estate. Contact staff for copyright inquiries. 

Contact the Foundation by contacting us should information about archival holdings not be available on this website, or if you are the copyright owner and believe the online catalogue has not attributed your work properly. 

Find more information about Planning a Research Visit and the Use and Licensing of materials in the BMF Collection. 


Archival sources should be cited whether they are quoted directly, paraphrased or used as an illustration. The following are recommended citations for items in the BMF Collections. These should be consulted in concert with whichever style manual being is being used (e.g. APA, MLA, Chicago/Turbian) to ensure citations are formatted correctly. See the basic templates below for guidance: 

Title of item, date. Name of fonds or collection, Series, Sub-series, File. (Identifier). The Bob Mizer Foundation, San Francisco, Calif., USA. url/permalink 

Example: [Master List Model Index Card for BILLY BOY], [1971]. AMG Archival Materials Founding Collection 1945-1992 [AMG Active Under Bob Mizer], Operations Department series, Internal Indexes subseries, Model Index Cards file. (BMF003-04-01-01). The Bob Mizer Foundation, San Francisco, Calif., USA.

Name of collection or fonds. The Bob Mizer Foundation, San Francisco, Calif., USA. url/permalink 

Example: AMG Photographic Founding Collection: Still Images 1945-1992. The Bob Mizer Foundation, San Francisco, Calif., USA.