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The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society is dedicated to celebrating the stories of the men and women of this region and how their contributions impacted the United States and the world. Our mission is to make the rich heritage and diverse culture of San Francisco and the Bay Area relevant, engaging and fun to all audiences.

SFMHS fulfills its mission through a broad spectrum of programs, including public talks, walking tours, publications, and special events, which share the stories of San Francisco's past with residents and visitors. SFMHS has a membership base of more than 2,000 households, and is actively building new partnerships throughout the community. We currently produce two publications: The Argonaut, an award-winning scholarly journal featuring in-depth articles on our city's history, and Panorama, a quarterly magazine featuring articles, stories, reviews and upcoming events.

SFMHS also created and manages the Barbary Coast Trail, a 3.8-mile walk from the Old Mint to Aquatic Park that connects twenty historic sites in San Francisco, including the birthplace of the Gold Rush, the oldest Asian temple in North America, a Silver King mansion, the western terminus of the Pony Express, and the largest collection of historic ships in the United States. With options of self-guided or organized tours, this is among the many historical and cultural threads we aim to share with the public as we develop a permanent home in the Old Mint.

SFMHS Programming Highlights
  • Monthly Programs - SFMHS hosts monthly programs that include: lectures, book readings, and special presentations. The goal of each program is to provide members and the public the opportunity to discover and learn about the rich history of San Francisco and the Bay Area.
  • Walking Tours - SFMHS coordinates free, guided walking tours of San Francisco neighborhoods and the Barbary Coast Trail as part of our public programs.
  • Events - SFMHS organizes unique social events, typically based around a specific theme or anniversary, or for special access to important historical venues.
  • - A collaboration between SFMHS and Shaping San Francisco, is an online public resource that uses a wiki model to encourage history buffs, community leaders, and San Francisco citizens of all kinds to participate in making history a creative act by sharing their unique stories, images, and videos from past and present.