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View the Museum's

Collection of Thousands of

The Marin History Museum's Extensive

Collection

In support of its mission, the Marin History Museum cares for several permanent collections including an Artifact Collection, a Photography Collection and a Library and Archive. All of these collections are stored in a climate-controlled environment in order to best protect the collections over time.

The Museum’s permanent collections continue to grow thanks to the support and donations of community members and local historical organizations and our staff and volunteers are actively working with the community to expand these collections so they better represent all aspects of Marin County’s history and diverse population.



Artifact Collection

      Description:

The Museum’s history collection represents the cultural and historical experiences of the people, communities and land use of Marin County, past and present. The collection’s scope ranges through time and is representative of the many phases of Marin’s social, political and cultural development. The collection is comprised of utilitarian items and fine art including maps, paintings, furniture, tools, household objects and clothing. Although there is a strong emphasis on 19th and 20th century history, the museum holds items related to the Spanish Mission period, the Mexican Land Grants era, World War Two shipyards, as well as contemporary pieces related to modern-day Marin. Objects in the collection are maintained for their historical relevance and educational value, and represent the cornerstone of our exhibits.

The strength and heart of the collection lies in its connection to the local citizens, innovators, families, businesses and industries of Marin. The Collection features items from the 1906 Earthquake, two World Fairs, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marinship, Hamilton Field, Louise Arner Boyd (arctic explorer), Northwest Pacific Railroad and Ferry Company and San Quentin Prison. Some unique items in our collection include a 17th century Spanish sword, the Verdenal pioneer journal, Louise Arner Boyd’s expedition snowshoes and artwork made by San Quentin inmates.

         Sub-Collections

Louise Boyd Collection: The Louise Arner Boyd Collection includes a unique combination of personal correspondence and expedition files donated to MHM in the 1960s by the explorer and socialite Louise Boyd. The bulk of the archive collection consists of approximately 2,500 paper files recording Louise Boyd’s seven Arctic expeditions spanning the years of 1926-1955.  The files include everything from telegraph communications to expedition supply lists to charts and maps used during her explorations. This collection also includes 18 oversize rolled maps, 15 photo albums, 4 scrapbooks and 7 travel journals dating from 1909 to 1960.

San Rafael Military Academy Collection: The SRMA was located on 5th Avenue in San Rafael and operated between 1925 and 1972.  The SRMA Alumni Association has deeded their entire collection to MHM and helps support its upkeep with donations from SRMA members.  MHM cares for yearbooks, uniforms, swords, sabers, rifles, academy papers, photographs, pins, medals, ephemera and the academy’s business records.

 

San Rafael Improvement Club Collection: The San Rafael Improvement Club was once housed in the original RCA Victrola Music Pavilion from San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific Expositions currently located at Fifth Avenue and H Streets in San Rafael. The club began in the late 19th century and existed until the late 20th.  The MHM SRIC Collection includes photographs, meeting notes, scrapbooks, “Nipper” the three foot tall RCA dog, trophies, audio tapes, videos, club rosters as well as many other materials from the clubs many years in existence.

 

Photography Collection

   Description:

The Museum’s photograph collection includes prints, negatives, glass plate negatives, film and digital images of people, landscape, structures and events related to Marin County. Selected prints are available for purchase. High-quality prints and digital scans made from photographs and negatives in the collection are available through the Marin History Museum. 

Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. The length of time that it takes to fill an order depends on its size and complexity. Once all appropriate paperwork is in order, an agreement, which serves as an invoice, will be prepared. The agreement and invoice will be mailed shortly thereafter. The Photographic Services department must receive both the signed contracts and full pre-payment before any orders can be released. 

The Marin History Museum reserves the right to evaluate each request. The Marin History Museum also reserves the right to charge fees and impose conditions above and beyond those listed in this web site when deemed necessary. 

Contact: 
Photographic Services
Marin History Museum
PO Box 150747
San Rafael, CA 94915

         Sub-Collections

Independent Journal Photography Collection: In 1982, when Gannet bought the Marin Independent Journal from local businessman Jack Craemer, a large portion of the newspaper’s photography collection came to MHM. It includes negatives from late 1940’s – 1970’s and prints from 1970’s – 1980’s totaling approximately 3,000 images.  In it one can see the rapid development of the county after the population boon which came with the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Brady/Aero Photography Collection: After returning from the Second World War, Ed Brady started a photography company in Sausalito using army surplus camera equipment and his private plane.  Between 1949 and 1994 he photographed Marin County, the Bay Area and California resulting in approximately 50,000 negatives and prints.  In 2006 Greta Brady, Ed’s widow, donated the entire collection to MHM.  We receive many requests for access to this amazing collection.

John Graham Photography Collection: The collection numbers 500+ photographic images of Marin’s historic trains including stations, locomotives and rolling stock from the Northwestern Pacific railroad, North Shore railroad, North Pacific Coast Railroad, and others.  This collection has become more popular due to our recent exhibition Riding the Rails: Marin Historic Trains and interested in the new rail system, SMART.


Library & Archives

     Description:

The Museum’s library and archives contain rare books, published and unpublished manuscripts, ephemera, documents, newspapers and maps related to or descriptive of the county’s land as well as the cultural and historical experiences of the people of Marin county. The library also maintains the Marin History Museum’s Oral History video collection. The library and archives aim to serve researchers, scholars and community members by providing assisted access to these materials. 

         Sub-Collections

Historic Marin County Newspaper Collection: MHM’s newspaper collection includes issues from the county’s earliest paper, printed in 1861, through to modern editions.  Newspapers include: The Marin Journal, Marin County Tocsin, The Independent, San Rafael Daily Independent, the Independent Journal, the Marin Independent Journal, Marin Scope, Marin Magazine, The Sausalito and the Mill Valley Record-Enterprise.

 

The County Record Collection: This collection includes original bound volumes of the county’s records beginning in 1851.  They include mortgages, chattel mortgages, release of mortgages, bonds, marriage licenses, candidates for office statements, certificates of sale and real estate assessments.

Verna Dunshee Collection: This collection includes Ms. Dunshee’s personal correspondence, awards, photographs, correspondence and documents from her efforts with the Marin Conservation League regarding Angel Island State Park, Mount Tamalpais, Marin Parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Stinson Beach, Tomales Bay State Park.

 

How to Donate Items to the Museum

 

The Marin History Museum welcomes new donations.  If you have items related to Marin County that you would like to donate, please contact Heather Powell at 415.382.1182 or email heather@marinhistory.org to make an appointment.

 

Please note: In accordance with the Museum’s Collections Management Policy, all items donated to the Museum are accepted on a temporary basis until formal review by the Collections Committee.  At the discretion of the Collections Committee, donated items may be accepted into the Museum’s artifact or photograph collection, research library or education collection.  Items that do not meet the criteria for accession will be returned to the donor, unless other instructions have been given.

 

At this time, the Museum does not accept newspapers, newspaper clippings, popular magazines or movies, photocopies, reproduction photographs, or items in need of repair.

 

Tax and Appraisal Information

 

Donations to the Marin History Museum are tax-deductible.  Museum staff do not appraise or place monetary value on donated items.  If you would like a formal assessment of value for your donation, please consider a professional appraiser.  For information on appraisal services or to find an appraiser near you, please consult the following organizations:

 

Appraisers Association of America https://www.appraisersassociation.org

American Society of Appraisers http://www.appraisers.org

International Society of Appraisers https://www.isa-appraisers.org

The Appraisal Foundation https://www.appraisalfoundation.org

 

Wish List

 

Yearbooks

We are currently working to complete our collection of Marin County high school yearbooks.  Have one you’re ready to part with?  Contact us!

 

 

Caring for Your Keepsakes

 

If you would like more information on the best ways to store, protect and care for your own treasures, photographs and documents, the following resources may be useful:

 

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works http://www.conservation-us.org and the Canadian Conservation Institute https://www.canada.ca/en/conservation-institute.html are two organizations dedicated to helping people and organizations properly care for personal and historical artifacts.  Both organizations provide free electronic brochures and easily accessible information on properly caring for paintings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, and more.

 

More Resources:

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration https://www.archives.gov

National Park Service Conserve O Grams https://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html

Library of Congress Preservation http://www.loc.gov/preservation/

Museum of Modern Art Conservation FAQs https://www.moma.org/collection/about/conservation/conservation-faq

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute https://www.si.edu/mci/

The Getty Conservation Institute http://www.getty.edu/conservation/

Preservation Directory http://www.preservationdirectory.com/HistoricalPreservation/Home.aspx

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts http://www.ccaha.org

 

Where to Purchase Archival Storage Materials:

University Products https://www.universityproducts.com

Gaylord Archival http://www.gaylord.com

Archival Methods https://www.archivalmethods.com

Brodart http://www.shopbrodart.com/archival-supplies/

 

 

The Marin History Museum thanks you!













































































 
Marin History Museum's

Photography Collections

Louise Arner Boyd Collection

The Louise Arner Boyd Collection includes a unique combination of personal correspondence and expedition files donated to MHM in the 1960s by the explorer and socialite Louise Boyd. The bulk of the archive collection consists of approximately 2,500 paper files recording Louise Boyd’s seven Arctic expeditions spanning the years of 1926-1955.  The files include everything from telegraph communications to expedition supply lists to charts and maps used during her explorations. This collection also includes 18 oversize rolled maps, 15 photo albums, 4 scrapbooks and 7 travel journals dating from 1909 to 1960.

 


The Ed Brady Photographic Collection

"now Digitized"

In 1949, Ed Brady bought a plane and began flying out of the San Rafael Airport in Santa Venetia. Partnering with Jack Van Wart they founded Aero Photographers, Inc. (API) in 1954, and began documenting the rapid growth of  Marin County and numerous other California locations.



In August 2006, the Marin History Museum acquired the Brady Collection from Grethe Brady. The collection contains more than 10,000 photographic negatives and prints.

The collection is being digitized so it can be shared with the public.  The cities of Belvedere-Tiburon, Greenbrae, Sausalito and San Rafael including Terra Linda are now digitized and are available for the viewing.   Mill ValleyNovato and Corte Madera-Larkspur are in the midst of digitization and not all of the photographs for these cities are available for viewing on the web site.

The process for digitizing the photographs requires an extensive amount of time.  In the future, every city in Marin will be digitized and included in the Brady Collection.

To view the photographs for a particular area, click on one of the following links:


San Rafael Military Academy Collection 

The SRMA was located on 5th Avenue in San Rafael and operated between 1925 and 1972.  The SRMA Alumni Association has deeded their entire collection to MHM and helps support its upkeep with donations from SRMA members.  MHM cares for yearbooks, uniforms, swords, sabers, rifles, academy papers, photographs, pins, medals, ephemera and the academy’s business records.

 

Mount Tamalpais Military Academy Collection

One of Marin County’s first military academies established in 1892, it continued in operation until 1925 when it was purchased by a local businessman, A.L. Stewart, and turned into the San Rafael Military Academy.  The collection includes uniforms, blankets, dance cards, yearbooks, calendars, graduation programs, hymnals, prospectuses, photographs, scrapbooks and misc ephemera.

 

San Rafael Improvement Club Collection

The San Rafael Improvement Club was once housed in the original RCA Victrola Music Pavilion from San Francisco’s 1915 Panama-Pacific Expositions currently located at Fifth Avenue and H Streets in San Rafael. The club began in the late 19th century and existed until the late 20th.  The MHM SRIC Collection includes photographs, meeting notes, scrapbooks, “Nipper” the three foot tall RCA dog, trophies, audio tapes, videos, club rosters as well as many other materials from the clubs many years in existence.

 

The Optimists Club Collection

This collection includes approximately 3,000 rolls of 35mm film documenting the activities of the Marin County’s Optimists Club.

 

Historic Marin County Newspaper Collection

MHM’s newspaper collection includes issues from the county’s earliest paper, printed in 1861, through to modern editions.  Newspapers include: The Marin Journal, Marin County Tocsin, The Independent, San Rafael Daily Independent, the Independent Journal, the Marin Independent Journal, Marin Scope, Marin Magazine, The Sausalito and the Mill Valley Record-Enterprise.

 

Independent Journal Photography Collection

In 1982, when Gannet bought the Marin Independent Journal from local businessman Jack Craemer, a large portion of the newspaper’s photography collection came to MHM. It includes negatives from late 1940’s – 1970’s and prints from 1970’s – 1980’s totaling approximately 3,000 images.  In it one can see the rapid development of the county after the population boon which came with the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

John Graham Photography Collection

The collection numbers 500+ photographic images of Marin’s historic trains including stations, locomotives and rolling stock from the Northwestern Pacific railroad, North Shore railroad, North Pacific Coast Railroad, and others.  This collection has become more popular due to our recent exhibition Riding the Rails: Marin Historic Trains and interested in the new rail system, SMART.

 

The County Record Collection

This collection includes original bound volumes of the county’s records beginning in 1851.  They include mortgages, chattel mortgages, release of mortgages, bonds, marriage licenses, candidates for office statements, certificates of sale and real estate assessments.


The Marin County Supreme Court Report Collection

In 2006 the County gave MHM their Marin County Supreme Court’s law library collection consisting of over 200 California Reporter Law books and a revolving bookcase originally used in the Fourth Street county court house.

 

Roy Farrington Jones Real Estate Collection

Roy Farrington Jones was a real estate appraiser for Marin County.  He began his career in his father’s real estate office in 1947.  The RFJ Real Estate Collection includes appraisers’ information, maps and photographs related to Marin properties.  The collection spans decades of Marin history and includes appraisal reports on the land once owned by the Mt Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railroad right-of-way owned by the Marin Municipal Water District as well as appraisal reports on private holdings across the county.

 

The Junior Museum of Marin – Louise A. Boyd Natural Science Museum

The Junior Museum of Marin later evolved into Wildcare, located in San Rafael, and continues to educate the public and while caring for Marin’s injured and endangered animals.  The Collection includes correspondence, financial plans, guild organization information, publicity, and scrapbooks from 1953 through the 1960’s.

 

William & Ada Fusselman Collection

William Fusselman was an elected official in Marin County for over 45 years and is best known for his 15 years on the County Board of Supervisors. Ada Fusselman was also an active member of the community and president or member of nearly every club and organization in Marin.  The collection includes awards, scrapbooks, county and city master plan studies, receipts, Board of Supervisors minutes, Marvelous Marin memorabilia, books, photographs and audio tapes of board proceedings including the creation and completion of the Marin County Civic Center.

 

Verna Dunshee Collection

This collection includes Ms. Dunshee’s personal correspondence, awards, photographs, correspondence and documents from her efforts with the Marin Conservation League regarding Angel Island State Park, Mount Tamalpais, Marin Parks, Point Reyes National Seashore, Samuel P. Taylor State Park, Stinson Beach, Tomales Bay State Park.

 

 


P. O. Box 150727, San Rafael, CA 94915        415-382-1182              info@marinhistory.org


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