Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: San Francisco Microscopical Society records,
Date (inclusive): 1870-1905
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-A 154
San Francisco Microscopical Society
Number of containers: 2 boxes, 14 volumes
Linear feet: 2.2
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Consists of records chronicling the first incarnation of the SF Microscopical Society, 1870-1905, including organizational
records, meeting minutes, correspondence, indexes of publications, scrapbooks of clippings, fern mounts, and photographs of
microscopic organisms, and papers written and presented by members.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], San Francisco Microscopical Society records, BANC MSS C-A 154, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley.
Title: Miscellany on Handwriting, 1862-1882,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 92/16 z
Title: Photographs of admitted and undisputed papers: submitted as evidence in the Dama will contest, Superior Court, San Francisco,
decided by Judge James V. Coffey, 1892 Jan. 30,
Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS C-B 396
Title: Reception of the San Francisco Microscopical Society, at Irving Hall, May 19th, 1885,
Identifier/Call Number: xF869.S3.4.S1805 BANC
Title: San Francisco Microscopic Society Transactions,
Identifier/Call Number: xF870.S2S2 BANC
Title: Transactions of the San Francisco Microscopical Society,
Identifier/Call Number: QH201.S3 BIOS
The San Francisco Microscopical Society Records were given to the University of California, Berkeley in 1906 shortly after
the Society disbanded. Some materials were transferred from the Biology Library to The Bancroft Library in 1950.
The San Francisco Microscopical Society was formed in 1870, when the California Academy of Sciences declined a proposal by
two members, Hiram G. Bloomer and Henry G. Hanks, to form a section devoted to the use of microscopes in scientific studies.
Within a year the Society was nearly inactive. However, interest revived the Society in 1872, with a new organizational structure
and fees to support equipment and other expenses.
Members met monthly to discuss their research and to promote scientific study. Papers on subjects such as geology, biology,
and botany were presented for discussion and visiting scientists were brought in to share ideas and demonstrate new scientific
equipment. The Society also elected corresponding members from other states and countries. Through exhibits, receptions, a
journal, and proceedings published in local newspapers, the Society publicized their research efforts.
The Society disbanded just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Its property and library were donated to the
University of California at Berkeley. The Society was re-formed in 1946 by George H. Needham, and continues to date.
Scope and Content
The San Francisco Microscopical Society Records, 1870-1905, chronicles the first incarnation of the organization, from its
founding to its dissolution, including organizational records, meeting minutes, correspondence, indexes of books and journal
articles, scrapbooks, and papers written and presented by members. These records do not include materials from the subsequent
San Francisco Microscopical Society, which was revived in 1946.
Organizational records include the Society's certificate of incorporation, an annual report for 1877, and a history of the
organization written in 1890. Three volumes of minute books record the formal and "conversational" meetings of the society.
Scrapbooks contain clippings from local newspapers publicizing the Society's meetings and public events. Notable are the scientific
papers presented by members at the Society's regular meetings. The Society was comprised of some of the most distinguished
physicians and natural scientists of the time.
Divided into six series, most of the few materials are arranged hierarchically or chronologically as appropriate, with the
exception of the final series, arranged alphabetically by author.