Mother Lode Trip, Sept. 23–25

Angelo Rossi family store, Volcano, CA, early 1878. The bundle of white in Maddalena Quirolo Rossi’s arms is her infant son, Angelo J. Rossi, future mayor of San Francisco. (from original tintype, courtesy Rose Marie Cleese)

Angelo Rossi family store, Volcano, CA, early 1878. The bundle of white in Maddalena Quirolo Rossi’s arms is her infant son, Angelo J. Rossi, future mayor of San Francisco (from original tintype, courtesy Rose Marie Cleese).

Members of the Institute, along with members of the Italian-American Studies Association, had a fabulous history trip to the heart of California’s Gold Country the weekend of September 23–25, 2016.

Thank you to Rose Marie Cleese for organizing it! For a report on the weekend, see our Fall 2016 newsletter.

History of Art Venues in Berkeley

Howard Sketch croppedAnn Harlow and the California and the West Study Group invite Institute members and their guests to a day of local art and architecture history in Berkeley on Saturday, January 23, 2016. We will meet at 10 am at the Berkeley Historical Society, Veterans Memorial Building, 1931 Center Street. In the History Center, we will tour Ann’s exhibit, “Art Capital of the West”: Real and Imagined Art Museums and Galleries in Berkeley. The exhibit explores more than a century of hopes, dreams, successes and setbacks of Berkeley art institutions. Ann will also lead a brief behind-the-scenes tour of the Historical Society’s other spaces in the building. Following lunch at Pedro’s Brazil Cafe (1960 University Ave., in a complex that received a historic preservation award), those who are interested can follow Ann on a walking tour past the Studio Building (2045 Shattuck Ave.), the soon-to-open new UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Center and Oxford streets), and other points of historical interest. RSVP to Ann.

Image: John Galen Howard, Study for Museum, University of California, 1919. John Galen Howard Collection, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

It’s Mini-Grant Time!

US-$500-LT-1880-Fr-185lThe Institute Board of Directors is pleased to announce the Mini-Grant Program for 2015-16. The deadline for this year’s application is September 15. The Mini-Grant Committee will examine the applications and report its decisions to the Board, which will have the final say. Checks will be issued by October 15.

The purpose of the program is to assist Institute members in good standing to complete worthy, sound and original projects of historical scholarship. Past mini-grants (usually $500 or less) have been used to pay for duplicating, translation, travel, and conference registration, but are not limited to these uses. For more information, see Information for Mini-Grant Applicants. Download the application form here.

Annual Meeting New Member Presentations

Report on San Francisco Main Library Tour

SFPL Tour 1/31/15

Public Program: World War I Films

Local History Field Trips for 2015

Report on Richmond Waterfront Field Trip

Report on Los Gatos Field Trip

Los Gatos Field Trip

History Expo

Visit to Juana Briones Exhibition

Report on Archives Program

Public Program on Archives, October 10

Annual Potluck, September 7

Trip to Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

World Map, Thomas Cavendish, 1707


Native American Encampment on Lake Huron, Paul Kane (1810-1871)


The Old Plantation​, ca. 1790, attr. to John Rose


The Unicorn is Found


Companions, Claude Raguet Hirst (1855-1942)

Companions, Claude Raguet Hirst (1855-1942)

Golden Gate, San Francisco Bay, Fortunato Arriola (1827-1872)

Golden Gate

Vallejo Outing April 13, 2013

2012 Annual Dinner Lecture Report

Member News

Welcome to our newest members, Marilyn Geary and Phyllis Peet.

Dot Brovarney is publishing a book this fall called The Sweet Life: Cherry Stories from Butler Ranch. Besides editing the collection of stories and photographs, she has provided historical context to the book about a cherry ranch in the hills west of Ukiah. At the center of The Sweet Life stand longtime owners George and Ella Butler, who through their u-pick orchard and a generosity of spirit created a unique sense of community in Mendocino County for over sixty years.

Charles Sullivan reports that the mini-grant he received from the Institute enabled him to present his paper, “From Sea to Shining Sea: Measuring North America in the 16th Century,” at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Discoveries, held in Newport, Rhode Island on September 23.

Monika Trobits notes that she will be teaching a course,“San Francisco Journeys,” for San Francisco State University’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program beginning in late October. She will also be leading a variety of other walking tours in San Francisco for the SF State Alumni Association and the Mechanics Institute.

Thomas Snyder is working on a history of the navy’s first hospital on the west coast, at Mare Island, spanning from 1856 to 1957.

Steven Levi announced the availability of his recent Kindle book, The Hughes Codicil, on Amazon in the mystery and thriller category.

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to

Contact Us

Institute for Historical Study
P.O. Box 5743
Berkeley, CA 94705

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Upcoming Events

Thursday, May 4, 1 p.m., home of Ann Harlow, Kensington
Play Readers: Victoria Regina by Laurence Housman

Sunday, June 11, 1:30 p.m., place TBA
Writers Group: TBA

Saturday, July 8, 1:30 p.m., Mechanics Institute Library, San Francisco
Board Meeting

California and the West Events


Fall 2016: Amador County

Summer 2016: San Francisco Presidio

Winter 2016: Berkeley History Center

Spring 2015: Sonoma Plaza

Winter 2015: San Francisco Public Library

Summer 2014:  Red Oak Victory and World War II Homefront National Historic Park, Richmond

Spring 2014:  Los Gatos History Museum, "American Bohemia: The Cats Estate in Los Gatos”

Winter 2014:  Tour of California Historical Society exhibition on Juana Briones, January 25

Summer 2013:  Green Gulch Farm Zen Center visit, August 15

Spring 2013: Visits to Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum and the McCune Collection at the Vallejo Public Library, April 13

Next Medieval Studies Meeting:
To be announced. Contact Lyn Reese.
Play Readers Upcoming Meeting

Thursday, May 4, 1 p.m., home of Ann Harlow, Kensington
Victoria Regina by Laurence Housman

We Promote:
  •  the study and discussion of history outside the traditional classroom setting
  •  research, writing, performances, exhibitions, and other expressions of historical study
  •  non-traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study as well as traditional approaches to history


Writers Group Upcoming Meetings

Sunday, June 11, 1:30 p.m., place and topic TBA

Join Us

We welcome all men and women who have a commitment to historical study, which may be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways...


Public Programs

Public programs usually occur once or twice a year and have included panel discussions, individual presentations, and film series. Programs are co-sponsored with other institutions, including public libraries, universities, museums, and archives.


About Us

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.