Scope and Contents
Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco 94102
Title: Bohemian Club Collection
Identifier/Call Number: BASC 15
9 manuscript boxes, 1 oversized flat box, and 2 boxes
(4 Cubic Feet)
Date (inclusive): 1872-2009
Date (bulk): 1890-1970
Abstract: The Bohemian Club Collection (BASC 15) consists of material covering the activities of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco
from 1872 to 2009, with the bulk of material from 1890 to 1970. Assembled from donations to the San Francisco Public Library,
the collection contains printed materials from various Bohemian Club activities held at the city club and at Bohemian Grove
in Sonoma County. Included are play and concert programs, event posters and fliers, dinner invitations and menus, plays and
scripts, a small amount of correspondence, membership records, and notices to members.
Physical Location: The collection is stored on site.
Physical Location: This collection is stored in M43.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in
Collection materials are in English.
Collection is open for research and is available for use during Book Arts & Special Collections hours.
Copyright has not been assigned to the San Francisco Public Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from
materials must be submitted in writing to Book Arts & Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of
the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
[Identification of item], Bohemian Club Collection (BASC 15), Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library.
Much of this collection is from unknown sources. It was part of a larger collection, California Authors, established with
a bequest from
James D. Phelan
in 1934, and gifts from
Albert M. Bender
and other donors such as
Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Denicke
Researchers are encouraged to see also the Bohemian Grove Photographs 1890-1950 (SFP 104) and George Sterling's Friends and
Family Photograph Album, 1898-1905 (SFP 34) at the San Francisco Public Library's San Francisco History Center.
During processing, the entire collection was re-foldered and re-housed in acid-free folders. Some metal staples remain. Most
oversized items were flattened and housed in oversized folders.
and other published works have been cataloged and can be found in catalog holdings of the San Francisco Public Library. This
collection has 105 Grove Plays, several signed by the author or other Bohemian Club members. A list of titles held by the
library can be found here:
List of Grove Plays held by the San Francisco Public Library (PDF)
, or search our catalog:
Still active today, the
was founded in 1872 as an all-male, private club for men. According to the
Annals of the Bohemian Club
, the Club started as an informal association of journalists, artists and writers meeting at the home of
, a writer for the
San Francisco Chronicle
. The origin of the term bohemian came from the French artistic movement of the 1830's and represented supportive companionship
of artists and intellectuals.
Article I - This organization shall be known as the Bohemian Club. It is instituted for the association of gentlemen connected
professionally with literature, art, music, the drama, and also those who, by reason of their love or appreciation of these
objects, may be deemed eligible. (Bohemian Club Constitution and By-Laws 1887)
Of the twenty-four charter members, seventeen were affiliated with newspapers or printing. Journalists were to be regular
members; artists and musicians were to be honorary members. Eventually these rules were relaxed to permit people to join who
had greater financial resources. This in turn helped to fund a large range of activities for its members. Membership is by
invitation only and women have never been allowed full membership at the club. Early Bohemian tradition allowed for restricted
visits from women, but women were completely banned from the clubhouse from 1910 to 1933.
For two weeks every summer, the club meets in
a 2,700-acre campground in in the redwoods in Sonoma County on the Russian River, to celebrate what is known as the Midsummer
Jinks or Midsummer Encampment. Dramatic play performances, outdoor dinners, orchestral performances, and other rituals are
all part of the activities. Guests may be invited to the Grove for either the "Spring Jinks" in June or the main July encampment.
Major events include the "Cremation of Care" ceremony and the "
Scope and Contents
The Bohemian Club Collection (BASC 15) consists of material covering the activities of the
1872 to 2009
, with the majority of material from
1890 to 1970
. The bulk of the collection consists of
from plays, concerts, art exhibitions, dinners held both at the city club and at Bohemian Grove in
which can be found in the Events series and Publications series.
The collection is particularly strong in graphic materials printed by
San Francisco Bay Area
printers and presses, including work from
Taylor & Taylor,
John Henry Nash,
Of note is a complete set of
The Nightly Hoot: a journal of revenge,
a one-time publication printed by letterpress during the
Summer Encampment, and three scrapbooks of
The collection is arranged in the following series: Series 1: Administrative, Series 2: Correspondence, Series 3: Bohemian
Grove Camps, Series 4: Events, Series 5: Scripts, Series 6: Publications
Series 4 and Series 6 have been further divided into subseries. Series 4: Events has 2 subseries: 4.1: Posters, fliers, invitations,
programs and 4.2: Scrapbooks. Series 6: Publications has 5 subseries: 6.1: Newspaper clippings, 6.2: The Nightly Hoot, 6.3
Bohemian Club Library Notes, 6.4: Publications by Bohemian Club members, 6.5: Typescripts.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Clubs -- California -- San Francisco.
Men--Societies and clubs
Theatrical productions -- California -- Bohemian Grove
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Bohemian Club (San Francisco, Calif.)
Phelan, James D. (James Duval)