About Drew Bourn PhD, MLIS

I wrote my doctoral dissertation on San Francisco history, and my second Master’s degree is in archives management. At Stanford University, I teach San Francisco history in the Continuing Studies Program and I oversee one of the archives on campus.  I also am the founder and facilitator of the Stanford Archivists (an organization of roughly sixty archivists and affiliated staff) and I serve on the Board of Directors for the Stanford Historical Society. I participate in the professional societies of both historians and archivists, including: the Society of American Archivists, the Society of California Archivists, the American Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians. In my free time, I volunteer as a consultant for the GLBT Historical Society.  I welcome feedback, so please feel free to contact me.

About Using San Francisco History

What does public history look like in San Francisco? In other words, how do accounts of the city’s past get developed and used outside the context of academic publications and conferences? My goal for this website is to profile a range of public history projects in the city, and to ask, “How do people use the history of San Francisco, and toward what ends?”

About the Barbary Coast image

The image of the Barbary Coast in 1913 that appears at the top of the page is used with the kind permission of the San Francisco History Center. It shows Pacific Street between Kearny and Montgomery, facing east. Visible in the photograph are such establishments as the Moulin Rouge, Spider Kelly’s, Lew Purcell’s, Diana Hall, and the Hippodrome – all of which are described in Herbert Asbury’s 1933 classic, The Barbary Coast. You can see the full version of the 1913 photo, as well as an image from Google Maps that shows what the street looks like today. You can also search for other online images from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection of the San Francisco History Center.