California Historical Society Museum
Since 1974 this nonprofit organization has explored the experimental world of photo-based imagery beyond vintage black and white,...
Cartoon Art Museum
Founded on a grant from Bay Area cartoon legend Charles M Schultz of Peanuts fame, this bold museum isn't afraid of the dark, racy or...
GLBT Historical Society
The little nonprofit that could, the GLBT HS mounts historical exhibits that rotate every nine months – a must for any gay historian....
House of Shields
Flash back 100 years at this brilliantly restored mahogany bar with original c 1908 chandeliers hanging from high ceilings and...
Lonely Planet review
Get the lowdown on California at this exhibition space devoted entirely to the state's history. Galleries show themed highlights from the museum's vast collection of a million-plus photographs, paintings and ephemera. Recent exhibits have examined the Golden State's reputation for movies, fresh food and the good life via silent-movie posters, vintage fruit labels and tourism brochures – and how that mythology washes with reality.
History buffs: make time for the fascinating research library and gain access to rare books, photos and manuscripts. The library has the definitive collection on the Northern California American Civil Liberties Union and People's Temple, among other California-centric subjects. Call ahead if you want to research specific topics so staff can pull appropriate materials from vaults.