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Digital Archive of San Francisco History at

Upcoming Events:

Wed., Feb. 20, 6 pm* OFFSITE EVENT @ Mission Bay Branch Library

Vanished Waters: A History of Mission Bay

Shaping San Francisco's Chris Carlsson will present a tour through the long and complicated ecological, industrial, and social history of our newest neighborhood, Mission Bay. Relying on the well-researched history provided by Nancy Olmsted's book Vanished Waters that Carlsson brought out in a 2nd edition for the Mission Creek Conservancy some years ago, it is a rich visual tour through a forgotten and surprising past, and an equally surprising and inspiring present.

Map by Christopher Richard

More info on Shaping San Francisco Public Talks…

Bicycle Tours
“Cycles of History,” our social, historical, and critical tours through San Francisco by bicycle.

Our fabulous bicycle tours are led by Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson, with help from LisaRuth Elliott.

San Francisco Bicycle Tours

Join our list or like us on Facebook to be notified about upcoming tours!

NEXT BIKE TOUR »Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dept. of Memory:
Go West! Over Hill and Dale



Explore Shaping San Francisco:

Ecology Emerges poster art by Mona Caron

Ecology Emerges

Discussions and reflections on the history of Bay Area ecological activism, based on oral histories documenting the past 50 years.

Ecology Emerges is an oral history gathering project to explore the past 50 years of ecological activism in the Bay Area and the role that individual and institutional memories play in the development, policy proposals, and interrelationships that together make up the existing networks of ecological politics.  We document the living ecological activist movement, in their own words, but also in a larger context of urban growth and globalization.

Read more…

Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Shaping San Francisco, as part of our ongoing work, sits down with people who have stories to tell and conducts oral history interviews.

Check them out here.

"Editor's Pick Tour" from

Comprised of over 1,400 pages, and 2,500 historical photos, the wiki-based archive is the product of hundreds of contributors, regular people who were compelled by the chance to investigate some piece of this City's past.

See the latest highlights…