What’s New

Save the Date: Feb. 24


Andy Thomas, "Tales of the Old West"

Andy Thomas, “Tales of the Old West”

Our annual membership meeting will be on Saturday, February 24 at the Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco. Come hear what we’ve been up to, elect some new board members, have lunch, and hear a presentation by Monika Trobits, one of our mini-grant recipients.

Holiday Greetings from the Institute!

Christmas greetings

May you have a fun-filled or restful holiday season, whichever you prefer. We hope to see you in the New Year—see our Upcoming Events.

Prospective members, we hope you will join us in 2018. Existing members, please recruit someone 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”

History Play Readers Invite Newcomers


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, February 20, 1:00 p.m., home of Ellen Huppert, San Francisco
History Play Readers:  Longitude by Arnold Wesker, continued

Saturday, February 24, 10:00 a.m., Mechanics’ Institute Library, San Francisco
Annual Members' Meeting with lunch and afternoon talk by Monika Trobits, “From Vigilance in Early San Francisco to the 1859 Duel.”

Monday, February 26, 1:00 p.m., home of Lyn Reese, Berkeley
Medieval Study Group: Lyn Reese will discuss the book Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them by Nancy Marie Brown. At their last meeting, the group decided to expand their historical interest to now embrace presentations on topics from any World History period. The group warmly invites anyone interested in this future topic orientation to the February meeting in order to get a general sense of how our group operates.

Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, Old Mint, 5th and Mission, San Francisco
San Francisco History Days: IHS will have a table and sponsor a panel, “The Future of the Past in Today’s Digital Age, 1.0", on Saturday, March 3, at 1 p.m. The two to three speakers on this hour-long panel will cover the latest in digital technology tools and how they are changing the ways history is researched and disseminated.

Sunday, March 11, 1:30 p.m., home of Ellen Huppert, San Francisco
Writers Group: Marilyn Geary presenting

Sunday, March 18, 2:00 p.m., home of Ellen Huppert, San Francisco
Work-in-Progress: Neil Dukas, “The Filibusterers and Freebooters of California”
Before politicians got hold of it, the word “filibuster” meant something quite different. The California Gold Rush drew thousands of intrepid adventurers to our shores, some with very pliant ethical standards. When things didn’t quite pan out, many of these ambitious and determined men banded together to create new, often questionable, opportunities for themselves. California, especially San Francisco, became a hotbed for filibustering expeditions into Mexico, Hawai‘i and Nicaragua. This Work-in-Progress will examine the origin, nature, scope and impact of filibustering, why San Francisco was a vortex for this sort of activity, and the U.S. government response.

Saturday, March 31, 10:00 a.m., Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St.
Public Program: “The Future of the Past in Today’s Digital Age, 2.0”
This panel addresses how today’s technology tools are changing the way that history is researched, written about, and made accessible, as well as how to find and use these tools to their best advantage. Panelists include Chris Carlsson, the founder of Shaping San Francisco and FoundSF.org, both contributor-driven historical websites; Katherine D. Harris, Ph.D., an associate professor at San Jose State’s Department of English and Comparative Literature and co-editor of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities, as well as others working in the field of digital history and digital humanities. Co-sponsored by the library's San Francisco History Center and the Institute for Historical Study.

Sunday, April 15, 2:00 p.m., home of Peter Stansky, Hillsborough
Work-in-Progress: Peter Stansky on Leonard Woolf