Category Archives: Bernal History Project

San Francisco History Expo 2011

SF Mint ca. 1900, courtesy the US National Archives

The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society (SFMHS) will be hosting the first San Francisco History Expo on Saturday, February 12 and Sunday, February 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m. at the Old Mint on the northwest corner of 5th and Mission Streets. Admission is free; and over 20 local history organizations will have exhibits, including:

In addition to the exhibits, the Expo will also feature a variety of programs, including: live performances, screenings of historic films, a forum at which authors will read from their recently published histories of San Francisco, displays of art by Frank Alan Zimmerman and by the San Francisco Quilters Guild, and opportunities for visitors to record oral histories and digitize photographs to be posted on the FoundSF website. On Saturday at 2:00 p.m. there will be a Community History Panel featuring Woody LaBounty of the Western Neighborhoods Project, Peter Linenthal and Abby Johnston of the Potrero Hill Archives Project, and Vicky Walker of the Bernal Heights History Project. On Sunday at 2:00 p.m. there will be a presentation on the work of muralist Mona Caron; and at 3:00 p.m. Willy Lizárraga will give a presentation on the history of San Francisco Carnaval.

Kristin Morris, Associate Curator for the SFMHS, points to the SFMHS’s ongoing series of monthly programs in explaining the basis for this collaborative event. This series has provided an opportunity for the SFMHS to partner with variety of local historical organizations, inviting those partners to introduce their work to a larger audience. Now, the SFMHS has invited those same organizations to participate in the Expo in order to further extend their outreach. The SFMHS is providing free admission in the hopes of attracting as many visitors as possible – especially students. By including exhibits by local archival repositories such as the California Historical Society and the San Francisco History Center, the SFMHS also hopes to introduce visitors to venues where they can conduct their own historical research.

The SFMHS plans to continue ongoing renovations to the Old Mint building and to eventually convert that space into museum of  San Francisco history. Because the SFMHS has a limited collection of materials for exhibition, the new museum would involve a collaboration with some of the organizations who will be participating at the Expo. The permanent exhibition would include artifacts on loan from many of those organizations; and some of the organizations will also be invited to curate temporary exhibits.

For more information about the Expo, please call the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society at: (415) 537-1105, extension 100.


Filed under Bernal History Project, California Historical Society, San Francisco City Guides, San Francisco History Association, San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, San Francisco Museum & Historical Society

Bernal History Project, and improving content delivery

"Bernal Heights" 2010 photo by Todd Lappin

San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Carl Nolte has written today about a project in which Bernal Heights residents have taken content about their neighborhood from the San Francisco City Directories of 1907, 1915, 1922 and the 1933 city phone directory, and posted it on the Bernal History Project website. This is the first instance of which I’m aware in which this content is being provided in an online format – previously it was available only in print and microform at repositories such as the Magazines and Newspapers Center of the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. While increasing accessibility, this project also highlights some of the challenges involved in designing a content delivery system. In this instance, the online content exists in the format of PDF documents that are organized by year and street name. While a researcher is able to do a full-text search within a single PDF, there isn’t a search capability to allow searches across PDF documents. That more robust kind of searching would have been possible if the content had been input into an online database built using FileMaker Pro. In spite of this limitation, however, the project represents a considerable improvement in access.

For any San Francisco resident interested in researching the construction or former residents of their home, the San Francisco History Center has created a website entitled How to Research a San Francisco Building.

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Filed under Bernal History Project, San Francisco History Center