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).

>>Submit your poem for the upcoming History Journal #9 here<<

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

Book Launch, First Friday September 1 at 6:00 pm

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 form the Gold Rush to the 21st Century

Coming Soon in 2017!

Price: $29.95

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

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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.”

Contribute to the next History Journal #9

Land Use, Preservation, & the Environmental Movement
The History Publications Committee of the Museum of Art & History is pleased to announce that History Journal No. 9 will examine the collective and political efforts of people and events which have helped preserve the natural environment of Santa Cruz County. These actions are the underpinning of our local lifestyle and have grown to shape and support our economy. This journal will document eco-activism in Santa Cruz County, the turning points in land use, the community leaders who worked on both sides of development decisions, the political process, and the voters’ voices.

“We all want Utopia, but the question is how to get there.” – Bruce McPherson, 1978, on Measure J.

Below is a partial and preliminary list of some topics which might be included in the journal. Some of these may take the form of major articles, while others may be short sidebars or presented in an appendix. Further suggestions would be welcomed.

  • Park Creation
  • Highway Expansions, those that Happened and their Impact, and those that Didn’t
  • The Coastal Act
  • Bike Paths
  • Defeated Projects (Wingspread, Nuclear Power Plant)
  • Measure J
  • Spin Offs – Life Lab
  • Greenbelt Land Use
  • Wider Leadership that Grew from Environmental Beginnings
  • Character, Culture, and Community of the Environmental Movement
  • Land Patterns of Preservation – Williamson Act, Zoning, Land Trusts, etc

Planning for History Journal No. 9 has already begun, and the Committee is soliciting proposals for contributions. Authors of articles will be asked to submit their finished contributions in October 2016, with publication expected the following year.

Guidelines for authors are available here.

Please submit your suggestion in the form of an article abstract, by April 1, 2016, to the Chair of the Publications Committee, Lisa Robinson or Marla Novo, Curator of Collections. Santa Cruz MAH, 705 Front St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060.