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!

On The Same Page is a bimonthly city-wide read.

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

Upcoming Events

NaNoWriMo: Come Write In
Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:00 pm
Main Library, Stong Room - Floor 1
Gallery Talk: All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:30 pm
Main Library, Skylight Gallery
Presentation: San Francisco Mime Troupe
Saturday, December 7, 2019, 3:00 pm
Noe Valley, Noe Valley Meeting Room

Upcoming Classes

Presentation: Genealogy and Family History Research
Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 6:15 pm
North Beach, North Beach Meeting Room

Current Exhibits

Don't Disturb the Dead
Through Thursday, December 19, 2019
Main Library, Government Information Center
All That Glitters Is Not Gold:
Through Thursday, January 2, 2020
Main Library, San Francisco History Center
The Native Reclamation of Alcatraz Island, 1969
Through Thursday, January 9, 2020
Main Library, Magazines & Newspapers Center 5th Fl
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