Blog Archives


World Map, Thomas Cavendish, 1707

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

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Native American Encampment on Lake Huron, Paul Kane (1810-1871)

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

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The Old Plantation​, ca. 1790, attr. to John Rose

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

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The Unicorn is Found

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.
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Companions, Claude Raguet Hirst (1855-1942)

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

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Golden Gate, San Francisco Bay, Fortunato Arriola (1827-1872)

The Institute for Historical Study is a community of researchers, writers, and artists. Our common bond is a devotion to history in its many forms. Through wide-ranging programs, we share research, ideas, and practical advice and provide a public forum for the discussion of history.

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Member News

Members' Recent Activities:

Peter Stansky, professor emeritus at Stanford, received the Peter Davison Award from the Orwell Society in recognition of “outstanding ability and contribution to the study of George Orwell.” The judges considered Professor Stansky’s ground-breaking investigations and publications over fifty years, which have continued into the present day with the publication of The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War (Stanford University Press, 2023) and Twenty Years On: Views and Reviews of Modern Britain (Pinehill Humanities Press, 2020). “Virtual meetings have allowed Professor Stansky (who was 91 in 2023) to remain a major contributor to discussions and colloquia on Orwell, permitting readers and students from around the world to interact with him.” Peter notes that “the late Peter Davison was the editor of the 20 volumes of the collected Orwell which made it possible for me to continue to work on Orwell without going to archives.”
Dot Brovarney’s seminal research on noted California native plant expert, Ukiahan Carl Purdy, will inform the upcoming issue of Eden, the journal of the California Garden and Landscape History Society. “My access to both personal and business records held by Purdy’s descendants enabled me to flesh out much of a fifty-year career which also included his work as a horticulturalist, nurseryman, writer, and
landscape designer.” Dot’s book, Mendocino Refuge: Lake Leonard & Reeves Canyon, continues to sell well. Kirkus Reviews states “Brovarney deftly mixes regional history, ecology, and character studies of people who shaped and were shaped by the land, writing in lucid . . . prose dotted with flights of vivid
lyricism.” To read the complete review, see Mendocino Refuge at www.KirkusReviews.com.
Nathan Foxton reports that he is “showing work in the group show “The Big Softie” at Soft
Times Gallery, 905 Sutter Street, February 1 - 24. It opens February 1st, 6-9pm during the First
Thursday Art Walk of the lower Polk and Tenderloin neighborhoods. I am facilitating a professional practices group for artists at my studio in the 1890 Bryant Street Studios building in addition to organizing collector tours with studio visits and artist talks.”
Joe C. Miller will be teaching a class on women’s history in the College of Marin Community Education program, “Wild Women Suffragists—A Forgotten Side of Women’s History.” The class meets weekly, on Thursday evenings, 7:10 - 8:30, starting February 1 and ending on the 29th (no class on the 22nd). Joe
will also give a talk at the Merced branch of the San Francisco Public Library on Saturday, February 17. He reports that his recent talk on the subject at Mary’s Woods Retirement Community near Portland, Oregon was well received.
The discovery of a cabinet found on a San Francisco street containing hundreds of old Kodachrome slides of early Bart construction, city agencies, and family photos from the 1960s prompted Tim Welsh to add to his collection on his website “San Francisco Film Locations Then & Now.” Tim writes: “I took current photographs at the approximate location of some of the vintage slides of BART construction along Market Street in 1967 and 1968 for a comparison.” See the BART slides here; for the full story of the discovery of the Kodachrome slides see https://www.sfmemory.org/TiffanyCabinet/.Leslie Friedman reports that she has been writing reviews of historical works and poetry. “Several of the poetry collections have significant historical content. For Wind—Mountain—Oak: The Poems of Sappho, a new translation, I needed to get back to very early Greek history, the burning of the Alexandrian library, and cultural developments that led to 18th- and 19th-century translations. I also traced Sappho’s lines—of which there are so few—in Walt Whitman lines and a J.D. Salinger title. Another book of poetry, membery, grew out of a woman channeling the lives of her grandparents during the Partition of India and Pakistan. It was a valuable window into the experiences of the Sikhs. The fate of Punjab, its language, religion, and customs, is seldom included in Partition histories. I also wrote about a novel, What Start Bad a Mornin, following Jamaican families to the United States.
Anne MacLachlan, researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), organized and spoke at a symposium in honor of the late Carroll Brentano, a long-time Institute member. “University History Past, Present and Future,” took place at the UC Berkeley Women’s Faculty Club on October 5, 2023. She notes: “Carroll’s work made major contributions to the history of the University of California. She firmly believed that a university and all those in it should know its own history. To that end she was the moving force in creating the University History Project in 1989 and launching two periodicals documenting the history of the University of California. ‘The purpose of creating the new series’ she wrote in the introduction to the Chronicles of the University of California was ‘to increase the store of institutional memory and thereby to revitalize institutional identity and enhance community.’ Now more than ever as documenting the history of the university seems to be on the decline, her purpose is even more significant. Several symposium speakers commemorated Carroll’s contributions. The program was concluded by Gia White, who spoke about the first African American students at Cal, based on an article she wrote for the campus project celebrating 150 years of women at Berkeley. Her article represents the mix of reflection and painstaking research which Carroll Brentano fostered during her lifetime.” A recording of the symposium is available at the CSHE website; find Gia White’s article here.

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to info@instituteforhistoricalstudy.org.

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