Dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and appreciation of early California history, the Society of California Pioneers was established in 1850. As a non-profit cultural organization, it operates both a museum and a library that are open to the public.
The SCP Museum hosts a rotating schedule of exhibitions, all of which have something to do with California art, history, and culture. They are complemented by permanent collections of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, silverware, and other items covering the time period from the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s era to the end of World War II in 1945. The photographs alone number more than 50,000 images and glass plate negatives.
The SCP Library contains more than 10,000 books and manuscripts, journals, newspapers, maps, and autobiographical materials, focusing on California's early history. Highly treasured among these are more than 50 pioneer diaries. Also collected here for research use are playbills, scrapbooks, ledgers, pamphlets, and the Sherman Music Collection.
The Society of California Pioneers is located at the intersection of Folsom and Fourth streets. The address is 300 Fourth Street, San Francisco, California 94107. Hours of operation are from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday through Friday and on the first Saturday of each month. General admission costs $5 per person or half price for seniors, students, and AAA members. Parking is available at Moscone Center or the Fifth and Mission Garage.