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Note: We are closed to the public until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please visit our participatory Berkeley History Facebook Group page. You can also delve into Berkeley history online via the links on our Online Resources page. We especially invite you to visit an online exhibit with pictures and text outlining the history of central Berkeley here.

If you have read in our summer 2020 newsletter about the pandemic masks project, please check back here in a few days.


Our Latest Exhibit

The exhibit is still up, and we can probably arrange for you to see it by appointment. Call 510-848-0181 or email several days in advance.

Four families photos

This was the first in a series of exhibits to explore the extensive history of African Americans in Berkeley, beginning with the first early families, through the explosion in population during the wartime industry boom of World War II, and into the civil rights era and beyond. The series will explore housing issues, including racial covenants, redlining, fair housing legislation and the current displacement crisis; religious, social and business organizations; arts, entertainment, education, politics and sports; and notable Black contributors to the city’s civic life. This first exhibit focused on four African American families: the Reids, the Howards, the Rumfords, and the Griffins. The exhibit included a rich photographic record and personal memorabilia. Subsequent exhibits in the series will open in fall 2020 and fall 2021.


Sun. Oct. 27, 2–4 pm: Opening reception with brief remarks in the lobby at 2.

November 17, 2 pm: Film, Welcome to the Neighborhood (featuring Mable and Mildred Howard) and film trailer featuring Betty Reid Soskin.

December 1, 2 pm: Film, Fair Legislation: The Byron Rumford Story.

February 23, 2 pm: Film, Gina's Journey (exhibit open 1-2 pm)

CANCELED: March 29, 2 pm: Film and speaker, Redlining, Restrictive Covenants and the Fair Housing Act with Judge Trina Thompson

In addition to changing exhibits, the History Center now features a permanent illustrated Timeline of Berkeley History giving an overview of major periods and events in the evolution of the city.

Hours (during exhibits): Thursday–Saturday, 1–4 pm.

Admission free, donations welcome.

Wheelchair accessible. (If you arrive by wheelchair, please phone us so we can open the door at the top of the ramp.)

Berkeley Historical Society and Berkeley History Center

1931 Center Street, Berkeley 
Telephone: 510-848-0181

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1190, Berkeley, CA 94701


Follow the Berkeley Historical Society on Facebook and join our Berkeley History Facebook Group.

See the CALENDAR page for BHS events and other local events of interest.

For past exhibits and events, see our Web Archive.



© 2010-2020 - Berkeley Historical Society
1931 Center Street - Berkeley, CA 94704

Get Directions: (510) 848-0181