Finding Aid to the Bohemian Club Collection 1872-2009 BASC 15

Finding aid composed by Freya Channing
Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library
2021


Contributing Institution: Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco 94102
(415) 557-4560
bookarts@sfpl.org
Title: Bohemian Club Collection
Identifier/Call Number: BASC 15
Physical Description: 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 English.

Languages Represented

Collection materials are in English.

Access

Collection is open for research and is available for use during Book Arts & Special Collections hours.

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bohemian Club Collection (BASC 15), Book Arts & Special Collections, San Francisco Public Library.

Provenance

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 .

Related materials

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.
For detailed information about the Bohemian Club see: The Annals of the Bohemian Club  .
The San Francisco Public Library also holds several music scores for Grove Plays in the Art, Music & Recreation Center  .

Conservation Note

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.

Materials Transferred

The Grove Plays 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: Grove Plays 

Administrative History

Still active today, the Bohemian Club of San Francisco 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 James Bowman , 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 Bohemian Grove, 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 " Grove Plays. "

Scope and Contents

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 majority of material from 1890 to 1970 . The bulk of the collection consists of printed ephemera from plays, concerts, art exhibitions, dinners held both at the city club and at Bohemian Grove in Sonoma County 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 Edward Bosqui, Taylor & Taylor, Arion Press, Grabhorn Press, John Henry Nash, Tomoye Press, and Lawton Kennedy. Of note is a complete set of The Nightly Hoot: a journal of revenge, a one-time publication printed by letterpress during the 1910 Summer Encampment, and three scrapbooks of printed ephemera from 1873-1912.

Arrangement

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.
Private clubs
Men--Societies and clubs
Theatrical productions -- California -- Bohemian Grove
Playbills.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
Bohemianism--United States.
Bohemian Club (San Francisco, Calif.)
Phelan, James D. (James Duval)

 

Series 1 Administrative 1891-1995 (bulk 1891-1970)

Physical Description: 15 folders

Scope and Contents

Materials include printed by-laws and member list booklets, annual reports, club membership dues, and a small amount of election material primarily from 1891 . Also present are notices to members from various committees, club services available, and notices about purchasing property in Sonoma County and erecting a new building in San Francisco .

Arrangement

Arranged by type and then chronologically.
box 1, folder 1

Constitution and by-laws 1973, 1976, 1995

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 2

Officers and Committees 1943, 1961-1970

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 3

Elections 1891 1894 1961 1891

Language of Material: English .
 

Membership 1894-1970

Physical Description: 3 folders
box 1, folder 4

Membership: Changes in membership, applicants 1960-1970

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 5

Membership: In memoriam 1894, 1910, 1919, 1964

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 6

Membership: Leather badge probably 1904

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 7

Notices 1891-1893, 1908, 1919, 1934, 1936, 1945, 1960-1965, 1967-1970, 1975, undated

Language of Material: English .
 

Operations 1961-1965

Physical Description: 3 folders

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Wine lists -- Specimens
box 1, folder 8

Operations: House and restaurant committee 1961, 1963-1964, undated

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 9

Operations: Statements and vouchers 1960-1962, 1967-1968, undated

Material Specific Details: Most signed by Harold E. Rhoades or H.E. Rhoades.
Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 10

Operations: Wine Committee 1965, undated

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 11

Real estate 1892, 1894, 1916, 1930

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bohemian Grove (Sonoma County, Calif.)
 

Annual reports 1891-1975

Physical Description: 3 folders
box 1, folder 12

Annual reports 1891, 1894, 1915, 1918, 1921

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 13

Annual reports 1933-1934, 1937-1938, 1959-1964

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 14

Annual reports 1966-1968, 1974-1975

Language of Material: English .
box 1, folder 15

Stationary probably 1918

Language of Material: English .
 

Series 2 Correspondence 1891-1969

Physical Description: 2 folders

Scope and Contents

This small series contains a correspondence to J.B. Levison and Antonio Sotomayor along with a few others. Of note is a letter from Edward F. O'day to Clay M. Green about the Grove Play St. John of Nepomuk and a copy of a letter from Dr. Samuel Johnson to A. Edward Newton regarding an upcoming dinner in honor of Newton. Many letters are on Bohemian Club letterhead.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Sotomayor, Antonio, 1904-1985
Levison, J. B. (Jacob B.), 1862-1947
box 2, folder 1

Correspondence 1891-1892, 1989, 1905, 1921, 1935, 1960, 1968-1969, undated

box 2, folder 2

Typescript of letter from Dr. Samuel Johnson to A. Edward Newton undated

Language of Material: English .

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Newton, A. Edward (Alfred Edward), 1864-1940
 

Series 3 Bohemian Grove Camps 1960-1985

Creator: Ingold, Ernest, 1885-1977
Creator: Gelwicks, Louis E.
Physical Description: 6 folders

Scope and Contents

The Bohemian Grove Camps series contains printed material about the different camps in the Bohemian Grove in general, Dragon Camp and the Isle of Aves, but the bulk of the series is about the operations of the Aviary Camp, a camp which is almost exclusively made up of members of the chorus.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by name of camp and then chronologically.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bohemian Grove (Sonoma County, Calif.)
Sotomayor, Antonio, 1904-1985
box 2, folder 3

Aviary Camp 1960-1961

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 4

Aviary Camp 1967

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 5

Aviary Camp 1968-1970

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 6

Bromley, Dragon, Isle of Aves, Monkey Block 1960-1961, 1964-1965, 1968

Language of Material: English .

General

Includes Dragon Camp by Ernest Ingold, 1968 [signed by author] and The pleasant Isle of Aves: a camp in Bohemia, its people and its places , [1964]
box 2, folder 7

General [probably 1977], 1985, undated

Language of Material: English .
flat-box 10, oversize-folder 2

General - oversized 1970, 1977, 1979, 1982

 

Series 4 Events 1872-2009 (bulk 1900-1970)

Scope and Contents

The Events series makes up the bulk of the Bohemian Club Collection. The printed ephemera in this series promoted events held by the Bohemian Club between 1872-2009 (bulk between 1900-1970 ) and is comprised of posters, fliers, concert programs, art exhibition catalogs, dinner invitations, menus, and other printed materials. Also included in this series are a few typed lyrics to popular songs and Christmas carols.

Arrangement

Divided into two subseries: Series 4: Events; Subseries 4.1 Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs, 1872-2009; Subseries 4.2 Scrapbooks, 1873-1912. Arranged in chronological order within subseries.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Printing -- California -- San Francisco -- Specimens.
Artists -- California -- San Francisco -- 19th century.
Exhibitions -- California -- San Francisco
Exhibition catalogs.
Broadsides--Specimens
Menus -- Specimens
 

Subseries 4.1 Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1872-2009

Physical Description: 30 folders

Scope and Contents

Programs, posters and invitations for many types of events including dinners, performances, art exhibitions, carnivals, concerts, plays and musicals.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.
box 2, folder 8

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1872, 1878, 1881, 1883-1884, 1887, 1890

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 9

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1891

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 10

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1892-1893

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 11

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1894-1899

Language of Material: English .
box 2, folder 12

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1900-1904

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 1

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1905-1907

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 2

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1908

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 3

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1909

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 4

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1910

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 5

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1911

Language of Material: English .
box 3, folder 6

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1912

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 1

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1913-1914

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 2

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1915-1917

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 3

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1918-1919

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 4

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1920

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 5

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1921

Language of Material: English .
box 4, folder 6

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1922-1923

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 1

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1924-1928

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 2

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1929-1931

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 3

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1932-1933

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 4

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1934-1937

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 5

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1938-1941, 1943, 1945-1951, 1953

Language of Material: English .
box 5, folder 6

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1960-1963

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 1

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1964-1965

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 2

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1966-1968

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 3

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1969-1974

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 4

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs 1975-1980, 1982, 2009

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 5

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs undated

Language of Material: English .
flat-box 10, oversize-folder 1

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs - oversized 08/04/1917

Material Specific Details: The Young China periodical- one page mounted on stiff board. Program for Bohemian Club "Imperial Chinese Aquatic Sports" held on April 4th, 1917. Other name for periodical: Shao nian Zhongguo chen bao.
Language of Material: English .
flat-box 10, oversize-folder 3

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs - oversized 1892-1893, 1908, 1910, before 1915, 1919, 1921, 1923-1924, 1927, 1929-1930, 1932-1933, 1938

Language of Material: English .
flat-box 10, oversize-folder 4

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs - oversized 1961-1963, 1965, 1968-1970, 1975, 1977

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 6

Posters, fliers, invitations, menus, and programs: Non-Bohemian Club events 1892, 1922, 1924, 1967, undated

Material Specific Details: Contains related to non-Bohemian Club events by other clubs or Bohemian Club members.
Language of Material: English .
 

Subseries 4.2 Scrapbooks 1873-1912

Creator: Bayley, George Blake, 1840-1894
Creator: Phelan, James D. (James Duval)
Physical Description: 2 boxes

Scope and Contents

This sub-series contains 3 scrapbooks containing largely Bohemian Club Jinks notices, invitations, fliers, and posters. Other materials include annual reports and newspaper clippings.
box 11

Scrapbook of George B. Bayley 1873-1894

Language of Material: English .
box 12

Scrapbook of James D. Phelan 1879-1895

Material Specific Details: This scrapbook originally came from the Thomas Wayne Norris Collection. Thomas Wayne Norris was an avid collector of Californiana.
Language of Material: English .
box 12

Scrapbook of James D. Phelan 1892-1912

Language of Material: English .
box BASC Photos: Box 3

St. Patrick at Tara, Bohemian Club Forest Play, photo album 1909

Creator: Moulin, Gabriel, 1872-1945
Material Specific Details: Photographs of the production of the Grove Play St. Patrick at Tara : a forest play by Henry Morse Stephens. Photographs by Gabriel Moulin. Album in cound in black morocco faded to brown with Phelan Collection bookplate, No. 1410 and presentaion inscription: "For Mrs. Hearst with kind regards. From H. Morse Stephens, September 1909". Photographs are annotated with quotes from the play and names of people.
 

Series 5 Scripts 1920-1976

Physical Description: 10 folders

Scope and Contents

This series contains typed and printed scripts for Bohemian Club Grove Plays and other dramatic performances including several "Low Jinks" and the Cremation of Care .

Arrangement

Chronological.
box 6, folder 7

So this is Bohemia, or, Turning back the system 1920

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 8

Cremation of Care 1922

Language of Material: English .
box 6, folder 9

The horses behind, or, The jockey's trap, Low Jinks 1965

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 1

Seems like ain't is by Dan Gilson, Low Jinks 1969

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 2

Armada, Grove play 1974

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 3

Circus, Low Jinks 1976

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 4

A poem to the paradoxy undated

Language of Material: English .
 

Series 6 Publications 1902-2008

Scope and Contents

This series contains printed matter of several kinds, including newspaper clippings about the Bohemian Club, two Bohemian Club publications, one being a full run of the Nightly Hoot , a newspaper printed by letterpress in Bohemian Grove during the 1910 Summer Encampment. In the Typescripts subseries there is an account of a new member's week at the Bohemian Grove in 1912 .

Arrangement

Series 6: Publications: Subseries 6.1 Newspaper clippings, 1912-2008 , bulk: 1912-1934 ; Subseries 6.2 The Nightly Hoot, a journal of revenge , 1910 ; Subseries 6.3 Bohemian Club Library Notes , 1958-1999 ; Subseries 6.4 Publications by Bohemian Club members, 1913-1927 ; Subseries 6.5 Typescripts, 1902 , 1912 . Arranged in chronological order within subseries.
 

Subseries 6.1 Newspaper clippings 1912-2008 (bulk 1912-1934)

Physical Description: 6 folders

Scope and Contents

The Newspaper Clipping subseries contains miscellaneous newspaper clippings regarding press for the Bohemian Club, some programs of club events and newspaper obituaries for Joseph D. Redding .
box 7, folder 5

Newspaper clippings 1912-1913

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 6

Newspaper clippings 1917-1919

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 7

Newspaper clippings 1922, 1925-1926

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 8

Newspaper clippings 1932-1934

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 9

The Press Democrat 1964

Language of Material: English .
box 7, folder 10

Newspaper clippings 1981, 1987, 2008

Language of Material: English .
 

Subseries 6.2 The Nightly Hoot, a journal of revenge 1910

Physical Description: 1 folder

Scope and Contents

Vol. 1, no. 1 (July 25, 1910)-v. 1, no. 13 (Aug. 7, 1910). Published during the Bohemian Club's 1910 summer encampment.
box 7, folder 11

The Nightly Hoot serial July 1910 - August 1910

Language of Material: English .
 

Subseries 6.3 Bohemian Club Library Notes 1958-1999

Physical Description: 6 folders
Material Specific Details: Published by the Bohemian Club. Documents the Bohemian Club's history. Letterpress. Issues Nos.1-106 Lacking No.4
box 8, folder 1

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1958-1978

Material Specific Details: Nos.1-39, lacking No.4.
Language of Material: English .
box 8, folder 2

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1979-1986

Material Specific Details: Nos.40-51.
Language of Material: English .
box 8, folder 3

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1987-1990

Material Specific Details: Nos.52-64.
Language of Material: English .
box 8, folder 4

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1991-1993

Material Specific Details: Nos.65-77.
Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 1

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1994-1996

Material Specific Details: Nos.78-93.
Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 2

Bohemian Club Library Notes 1997-1999

Material Specific Details: Nos.94-106.
Language of Material: English .
 

Subseries 6.4 Publications by Bohemian Club members 1913-1927

Creator: Lynch, Jeremiah, 1849-1917
Creator: Field, Charles K. (Charles Kellogg), 1873-1948
Creator: Garnett, Porter, 1871-1951
Creator: Palmer, Kate B (Author)
Creator: Greene, Clay Meredith, 1850-1933
Creator: Harvey, James Clarence, 1859-1917
Physical Description: 5 folders
box 9, folder 3

The spirit of woman in Bohemia 1913

Material Specific Details: "A playlet written and staged by Kate B. Palmer at a dinner given at their home by her husband to some of his bohemian friends on the eleventh day of September nineteen hundred and thirteen." Privately printed. Philopolis Press.
Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 4

Lady Isis in Bohemia 1914

Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 5

The lure of traffic: A melodrama of the social evil in six acts and nineteen scenes 1914

Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 6

The call of the man child, or, Miss Bartholdi off her perch 1916

Language of Material: English .
box 9, folder 7

More little tales retold; A little tale retold 1926-1927

Language of Material: English .
 

Subseries 6.5 Typescripts 1902, 1912

Scope and Contents

One folder with two typescripts: 1. Two drafts of "Christmas 1902" with envelope labeled "Stafford paper".
2. "A week in Arcadia: being a contemporary diary of a new member of the Bohemian Club while spending the week of August 5th, 1912 at the Bohemian Grove on the Russian River."
box 9, folder 8

Typescripts 1902, 1912

Language of Material: English .