Upcoming Events


Franciscan Frontiersmen: How Three Adventurers Charted the West
Monday, November 27, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

Based on a newly published book of the same title, this presentation explores the lives of three pioneering friars, Pedro Font, Francisco Garces, and Juan Crespi, who accompanied Junipero Serra to California in the last half of the eighteenth century. Drawing on the long-forgotten journals, extensive trail observations, and correspondence of the three padres, as well as the author’s own exhaustive field research, the presentation will provide fresh insights into the rigors of daily life on the frontiers of New Spain. These three Franciscans were the chaplains and official diarists of Spain’s pathfinding expeditions on the West Coast of North America. In the tumult of the Spanish crown’s colonization, Font, Garces, and Crespi endured terrifying storms at sea, blood-soaked Indian attacks, starvation, scurvy, and lonely isolation as they carved trails through uncharted lands. Together, they explored a swath of the continent that was larger and more important than that explored by Lewis and Clark a generation later. But their exploits have been overlooked, because Americans are eager to learn their English past but largely ignore their Spanish past.

An illustrated talk by Robert Kittle, journalist and historian.

Seating is limited. Submit your RSVP here.

Fourth Annual Holiday Card Exhibition Opening: Treasures from the Book Club
Monday, December 4, 2017, 5–7 PM

The Book Club of California’s Fourth Annual Holiday Card Exhibition features cards sent, received, and collected by the Book Club and its members over the past 70 years. The exhibition celebrates the work of California presses both big and small, including Tamal Land Press, Feathered Serpent Press, Lawton and Alfred Kennedy, and the legendary Grabhorn Press, as well as cards printed in the small, little-known print shops of our members. The collection also reveals the network of bibliophilic organizations in the Bay Area, with holiday cards from Stanford University Library, Gleeson Library, San Francisco Public Library, and more. On view December 4, 2017–January 8, 2018.

Join us for a festive exhibition opening and holiday celebration on Monday, December 4.

Stay tuned for a link to RSVP.

Bookplates: A Contemporary Art Form
Monday, December 11, 2017, 5–7 PM

Hospitality at 5 PM | Presentation at 6 PM

James Keenan has been an avid collector of bookplates for nearly 40 years. He is director of the American Society of Bookplate Collectors & Designers, founded in 1922, and serves as editor and publisher of the society’s journal, Ex Libris Chronicle. His books include American Artists of the Bookplate (Cambridge Bookplate, 1990 & 1996) and The Art of the Bookplate (Barnes & Noble, 2003). In this presentation, Keenan will share a brief history of the bookplate and bookplate societies, highlighting examples of the contemporary art form and the international friendships built between artists and collectors today.

Co-presented by the Northern California Chapter of APHA.

Seating is limited. Stay tuned for a link to RSVP.

Featured image: fine etching by Engelina Reitsma-Valença (Netherlands, 1889–1981)

The First Annual Kenneth Karmiole Endowed Lecture on the History of the Book Trade in California and the West: Anton Roman: San Francisco’s Pioneering Bookseller & Publisher (The Huntington Library)
Monday, January 17, 2018, 5–7 PM

This is an encore of the original presentation that took place at the Book Club of California on October 30, 2017.

Presentation at 7:30 PM | Reception at 8:30 PM

John Crichton presents the story of San Francisco bookseller and publisher Anton Roman (1828–1903), who came to California from Bavaria in 1849 to make his fortune in the gold fields. He converted his gold into books and became one of the most important and successful bookseller-publishers in the history of the book trade in California and the West. Roman published seminal California and Western American texts; he founded the Overland Monthly; and he connected California to the East.

This program will take place at the Huntington Library in Pasadena on January 17, 2018.

Reservations required. Submit your RSVP here.

More to come! Please check back for updates or subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest information on events, exhibitions, and publications. See a copy of our letterpress printed July–December 2017 calendar here.

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