What’s New

Thank You!

potluckJody Offer once again hosted our annual potluck at her house, and a good time was had by all! Many thanks to Jody and her husband Stuart, and to the fabulous chefs among our group. Eating and drinking together has always been a favorite activity of the Institute for Historical Study!

Thanks to Maria Sakovich for organizing our public program on the Russian revolution and civil war, to Liz Thacker-Estrada for hosting it at the Merced Branch Library, and to Rob Robbins for summarizing a very complex period!

Public Event: “Siberia and California”

Camp Fremont, from postcard

Camp Fremont, from postcard

Siberia and California: Connections during the Russian Revolution and Civil War

Late in 1917 (25 October according to the Old Style calendar, 7 November according to the New Style), shortly after the US entered World War I and began sending troops to France on the side of the Allies, Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd and the Kerensky “provisional government” fell. So began the Russian Revolution. By May 1918 civil war broke out, with the newly formed Red Army and the “White Army” engaged in attack and counter attack in several regions, including Siberia. The war continued in some parts of Siberia into 1922.

California figures in part of this history. The majority of troops that formed the American Expeditionary Force–Siberia (in Russia from September 1918 to April 1920) were trained at Camp Fremont, located in Menlo Park.  Many of the participants of the White forces and refugees leaving Russia via Siberia settled in California in the 1920s and 1930s. (So did some of the Americans after their sojourn in the AEF.)

The Institute for Historical Study and the Merced Branch of the San Francisco Public Library are hosting an evening of four presentations by independent scholars: “The Russian Civil War — A Quick Overview,” “Civil War-Related Collections at the Hoover Institution Archives and the Museum of Russian Culture,” “The Russian Civil War through the Camera of a Young Officer,” and “The Refugee Experience through Siberia.”  Images from local archives and private collections will illustrate the talks. The speakers are Richard Robbins, professor emeritus, and Maria Sakovich from the Institute; Yves Franquien from the Museum of Russian Culture and Hoover Institute Archives; and Lada Tremsina, author of three books on the civil war.

When: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Merced Branch, San Francisco Public Library

155 Winston Drive, San Francisco



History Play Readers Invite Newcomers

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 3.14.48 PMThe history play readers will meet on Friday, October 27, at 1 pm at the San Francisco home of Nancy Zinn to read and discuss Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore. The title refers both to Alan Turing’s work as a mathematician  and computer science pioneer, which led to the the breaking of the German “Enigma Code” during WW II, and to his prosecution/persecution for homosexuality in 1952.

We encourage members of the Institute to participate in our play reading sessions, which happen about once a month on a weekday.


It’s Mini-Grant Time!

Mother Lode Trip, Sept. 23–25, 2016

History of Art Venues in Berkeley

It’s Mini-Grant Time!

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

Vallejo Outing April 13, 2013

2012 Annual Dinner Lecture Report

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, November 28, 1:00 p.m., home of Monica Clyde, Oakland
Play Readers: Hugh Whitemore's Breaking the Code, continued

Saturday, January 13, 1:30 p.m., Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco
Board Meeting

Sunday, January 21, 2:00 p.m., location TBD
Work-in-Progress: Charles Sullivan, “Let Us Not Praise Famous Men: Political Correctness in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I.”

Sunday, February 18, 2:00 p.m., home of Peter Stansky, Hillsborough
Work-in-Progress: Peter Stansky on Leonard Woolf

Saturday, February 24, 10:00 a.m., Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco
Annual Members' Meeting

Sunday, March 18, 2:00 p.m., location TBD
Work-in-Progress: Neil Dukas, “The Filibusterers and Freebooters of California”