Hands On History: Girls (and Some Guys) of the Golden West

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An experience that brings Gold Rush California, in all its variety, to your fingertips!

Join us for a close-up show-and-tell using the San Francisco History Center’s 19th century books, manuscripts, broadsides, newspapers, letter sheets and photography, and discover the background for Girls of the Golden West, a new opera by John Adams and Peter Sellars, premiering in San Francisco in late November.

Selections will include one of the earliest printings of the Dame Shirley Letters; an issue of the San Francisco Daily Herald newspaper, published June 1850; daguerreotypes dating from the 1850s; a broadside for the local Metropolitan Theatre’s January 1855 production of Bellini’s opera Norma; sheet music for a Stephen Massett ballad, 1853, signed by the composer; original records of the Mexican government in San Francisco, and books featuring illustrations and characters which composers and playwrights have mined for inspiration.

This gathering will be held in the San Francisco History Center and is limited to 30 attendees (this event is "sold out" as of Friday,  Dec. 1.) The behind-the-scenes event is led by our archivists, who will guide the group in a tour of some of our rare and less seen materials.  Photography is welcomed and encouraged.

Advance reservation requested.

See the history behind the Opera before the curtain goes up!

Learn more about History and Genealogy through the wealth of resources available at the Library.

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