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Guide to the San Francisco Microscopical Society records, 1870-1905
BANC MSS C-A 154  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: San Francisco Microscopical Society records,
    Date (inclusive): 1870-1905
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-A 154
    Creator: San Francisco Microscopical Society
    Extent: Number of containers: 2 boxes, 14 volumes Linear feet: 2.2
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    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.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], San Francisco Microscopical Society records, BANC MSS C-A 154, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

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    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    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.

    Organizational History

    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.