The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

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History Publications

Fred D. McPherson Jr.

Fred D. McPherson Jr.

The Museum of Art & History publishes books on subjects of local historic interest and exhibition catalogues. History journals, books, and exhibition catalogues can be purchased at the Museum Store during regular visiting hours, or at MAH’s online shop. As of 2013, the MAH is also producing an online history journal.

The Fred D. McPherson Jr. Publications Fund is a source of funding for MAH publications. The first McPherson Fund book was Santa Cruz County Place Names, by Donald Thomas Clark. This publication was an instant success and all proceeds from that project, and all projects since then, have been returned to the Publications Fund to help fund future endeavors. You can access a complete index of publications produced by the Fund pdf here.

Guidelines for authors submitting material for consideration by the History Publications Committee can be found here pdf here


MAH History Publications (with article list)


Purchase one of our history publications in our online store here.


History Journal #9

Landscapes: Activism That Shaped Santa Cruz County, 1955-2005

Price: $25

Landscapes brings to life the decisions, movements, innovations, and exchanges of political power between 1955 and 2005.
This issue of the history journal includes first person accounts of saving Lighthouse Field and fighting back a nuclear power plant on the North Coast; how the UCSC campus changed land use policies and how Measure J affected growth management. From the creation of Watsonville Wetlands Watch to environmental regulation in the San Lorenzo Valley, these stories are told by those who were deeply committed to what are now our most precious resources. This journal will be published in September 2018.

History Journal Number 9 supplemental images here


Harvesting Our Heritage: Bite Sized Stories from Santa Cruz History

Price: $12

Harvesting Our Heritage is a book written by four local food lovers with contributions from artist and foodies in our community. This MAH publication, which offers a taste of local history without leaving you stuffed, will fit perfectly on your coffee table, nightstand, or in use with your flour-dusted kitchen recipe collection. 




Between the Redwoods and the Bay: The Jewish Community of Santa Cruz County, California from the Gold Rush to the 21st Century

Price: $29.95 (hardcover)

Between the  Redwoods and the Bay recounts the little-known story of the earliest Jewish settlers of Santa Cruz County and the history of their community. Jewish immigrants who arrived during the Gold Rush era established the foundation of a continuous presence in Santa Cruz. Although their population fluctuated in numbers and activity over the years, they became established merchants and businessmen who contributed to the economic, political, and social fabric of life in the region.


History Journal #8: Do You Know My Name?

Price: $25

low res do you know036

If you want to know the names of some little known people who once lived in our community, check out the current MAH history journal, Do You Know My Name? It provides a glimpse into the history of Santa Cruz County through the lives of its people. It tells of Native Americans who came to live at Mission Santa Cruz; of Californios who struggled to keep their land after California became a state; of the young men of color who played baseball here in the early 1900s; of African American preachers who founded early churches in our community; of Japanese Americans from Watsonville who were interned after Pearl Harbor.

The journal also takes the reader into the lives of ordinary men and women who may not have achieved riches or renown, but who found fulfillment in art and invention. It tells of strong women who acted on their beliefs, as well as women who endured great loss, yet went on to lead full lives. These are not just stories of a remote past, but are stories that can resonate with people living in our community today.

Like all the Santa Cruz County history journals published by MAH, Do You Know My Name? contains scholarly, well-researched articles that are written to be read and enjoyed by anyone interested in our past—not just by historians. This particular journal was inspired by and is dedicated to the late historian, Phil Reader. Phil researched all aspects of Santa Cruz County life, but his prevailing interest was in the underdog. As Santa Cruz historian Sandy Lydon says, Phil was “a champion of the working stiffs, those who were born, lived, and died out on the edges.”

History Journal #1

History Journal #1 is a compilation of stories geographically based in our County. From “The House That Vicente Built” in Aptos by to “Poems of the Pajaro Valley,” this inaugural journal introduces its reader to the diverse stories of Santa Cruz County. Download here.

History Journal #3: Branciforte Bi-centennial Edition

While monks were founding religious missions, Spanish civilians established three secular towns called pueblos in California. The first two were San Jose and Los Angeles. In 1796, Villa de Branciforte—on the east side of the San Lorenzo River—became the third pueblo. “The story of the history of Branciforte is one of class and race. Beginning with their first arrival in 1797, Branciforteans always failed to live up to somebody’s expectations. Yet as you read this collection of articles they were really just hard-working folks trying to carve out yet another version of the immigrant’s dream on this stretch of the California coastline.” Sandy Lydon, historian. Download here.