Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fred Lyon - Living Through the Lens

The Art, Music and Recreation Center and the San Francisco History Center are pleased to bring you this film screening and book signing.

Fred Lyon: Living Through the Lens, directed by Michael House, is an intimate exposé of San Francisco photographer Fred Lyon, who is still going strong after seven decades behind the camera. Though Lyon is one of America’s leading advertising, interior design, architectural, food, wine, and travel photographers, he is best known for his mood-soaked street photography of San Francisco in the ’40s and ’50s.

This film takes the viewer inside the world of Lyon, exploring his immense archive of San Francisco images, the film also goes into what it takes to make a living from photography, revealing the story of this prolific, innovative artist. Photographer Fred Lyon has been called “San Francisco’s Brassai”. He’s also been compared to Cartier-Bresson, Atget, and Andre Kertez, but all with a San Francisco twist. Fred happily admits his debt to those icons.

Now 90, his nonstop career reaches back to the early 1940s and embraces news, fashion, architecture, advertising, wine and food. These days find him combing his picture files for galleries, publishers and print collectors. (An exhibit of his work opens at the Harvey Milk Photo Center on November 8 and runs through January 10, 2015.)

Photographer Fred Lyon will be on hand before and after the film screening to sign copies of his newest monograph -  San Francisco: Portrait of a City


RSVP and share this event on Facebook
Main, Koret Auditorium, Thursday, October 2, 6:00-8:00 PM

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Photographer Janet Delaney In Conversation with Architect Mark Hogan

The San Francisco History Center and Art, Music & Recreation Center invite you to join photographer and author Janet Delaney in conversation with San Francisco architect Mark Hogan. 

Wednesday - 9/24/2014 - 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

South of Market: 1978 - 1986 is a photographic portrait of a San Francisco neighbourhood in the throes of urban renewal.

In 1978, Janet Delaney moved to San Francisco’s South of Market district because the location was central and the rent was cheap. On the weekends she photographed with her large format camera at the nearby construction site for what is now the Moscone Convention Center. After witnessing the nighttime demolition of an adjacent residential hotel, Delaney became interested in the rippling economic effects urban renewal was having on poor and working class residents. Leaving the construction site behind, Delaney joined local efforts to protest the city’s treatment of the community and began to photograph and interview her neighbors in their homes and places of work.

South of Market is not a romantic representation of San Francisco’s past, but rather a testament to a vanished community made up of blue-collar workers, small business owners, families with children, artists, and gay men. The work is especially relevant today, as a new wave of gentrification brought on by the second internet boom is again driving less affluent residents out of San Francisco. “As I continue to photograph in San Francisco and in urban areas around the world,” says Delaney, “I see that who plays and who pays remains, as it always was, the central issue.”

The photographs are accompanied by interviews which offer personal responses to the impact of gentrification on twelve of Delaney’s neighbors. An essay by Erin O’Toole sets the context for this story by providing a history of this constantly evolving San Francisco neighborhood.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Merola Goes To The Movies - Anna Bolena.

 image source: Anna Netrebko, Merola Opera Program

The Merola Opera Program and the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch are teaming up once more to bring you a screening of a performance of Gaetano Donizetti's Anna Bolena.

This performance features 1996 Merola alum Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča, and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.  Eric Génovèsé directs the Vienna State Opera.

Donizetti retells the tragedy of Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII's unfortunate wives. Betrayal and passion ensue as the Anna is driven insane by her unfaithful king as he plots to bring his mistress to the throne.

For more information read this article by the Merola Opera Program's Tracy Grant.

Anna Bolena will be screened at 1:00, Sunday, September 21st at 1:00 PM in the Main Library's Koret Auditorium.  Seating begins at 12:30 PM.  The screening time is 150 minutes.  All Library programs are free.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What's it worth? Price It!

price it database

Price It! Antiques and Collectibles is a database available from the San Francisco Public Library website that allows you to find pricing information for antiques and collectibles in more than 100 categories.  The pricing information comes from online auction sites such as eBay, online antiques dealers such as GoAntiques and TIAS and a few land based auction houses.  The items you find in Price It provide a general idea of what a similar item may sell for.  Everything listed in Price It! has already sold.

Price It can be found by following this link and/or following these simple instructions:
  • Go to sfpl.org
  • Hold your mouse cursor over eLibrary and click on Articles and Databases
You will see a list of ALL the databases offered by San Francisco Public Library!!
  • Scroll down to "P" and click on Price It!
In the top right you will see the three services offered by Price It!: Search, Info Center and Collecting Club.  Here you will find a brief overview of each section.  And remember SFPL librarians are more than happy to assist you in person at any reference desk nd can answer quick questions on the phone and through our reference chat service.


A keyword search for HUMMEL results in over 200 entries from $10 to over $6,000.  You can sort results by price, date sold or best match.

Info Center:

Here you can find stories and articles from some of the best-known authors and authorities in the antiques and collectibles industry.  You will find valuable tips and tricks on how to repair, restore and conserve your antiques.  You can learn how to hire an appraiser and learn the difference between market value, utilitarian value and sentimental value.

Collecting Club Directory:

The directory currently feature 6,332 groups.  You can limit by category and also search by keyword to find a club that may offer more resources and expertise.

Help Center:

Here is where you can request more information and find tips on how to search the database. 

The Library still has price guides to collectibles of all kinds, but an online resource like Price It! will provide the most general and current information available.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Music Research Tools Free & Online through San Francisco Public Library

This information is also available as a printable pdf file.

Your San Francisco Public Library card allows you to check out and return books to and from the Main Library and 27 branch libraries throughout the City. You can reserve material and have it sent to and any of these locations. It is also possible to request material from other libraries in California and from all across the country. Your Library card also gives you access to eBooks, eReference resources, databases and streaming audio and video.

Our collection includes more than 20,000 books, 32,000 scores, as well as the collected works of over 200 composers. We also have an in-depth collection of popular music and Broadway songbooks. The Dorothy Starr Collection contains over 38,000 pieces of vocal sheet music. Our collection also includes reference works, thematic catalogs, guides to repertoire, and resources for writing program notes. We have scores and instructional material for all instruments and ensembles.


The San Francisco Public Library Catalog. Our books, scores and recordings are indexed here. You can limit your catalog search to scores, books, eBooks, CDs, eMusic, DVDs, eVideos, or LPs.

Link+. This is a service that allows San Francisco Public Library card holders to borrow material from other libraries in California and Nevada including many libraries from the CSU system.

Interlibrary Loan. San Francisco Public Library card holders can also request books and scores from public and university libraries from the entire country.


Classical Scores Library. Includes digitized scores, mostly of contemporary classical works not yet in the public domain.

Dorothy Starr Sheet Music Collection. A collection of vocal sheet music. This collection is particular strong for popular song, but also includes Broadway and film song, art song, operatic arias (in various ranges) and choral works for various ensembles.

Fakebook Index. An index to lead sheets and fakebook arrangements for all styles of music including jazz, pop, rock, classical and folk music.

Orchestral Music Sets. The Library loans sets of parts to orchestral works to registered ensembles. These parts are also available to consult for audition preparation.

Dorothy Starr Collection stamp with Starr's The Music Stand logo.


Oxford Music Online. Provides online access to the the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Oxford Dictionary of Music, The Oxford Companion to Music and the Encyclopedia of Popular Music.

Music Index. A Comprehensive Guide to Music Periodicals and Literature. An index, abstracts and some full text to music periodicals.

Rock’s Back Pages. An archive 25,000 articles covering rock music’s movements and musicians.

JStor. Full text articles from 1838 onward from scholarly journals in all areas of the arts and humanities.

African American Music Reference. Essays and images that document all forms of black American musical expression, including blues, jazz, spirituals, civil rights songs, slave songs, minstrelsy, rhythm and blues, gospel.

STREAMING AUDIO AND VIDEO from Alexander Street Press

Classical Music Library. High quality streaming audio to more than 15,000 classical music albums covering all eras and genres.

American Song. A streaming audio collection of over half a million tracks of American roots music and pre-1960 American popular music.

Contemporary World Music. Provides access to more than a million tracks of music from 169 countries in contemporary and traditional styles.

Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries. Provides audio and liner notes for recordings from the Smithsonian Folkways label. These include world music, folk music, classical music and spoken word recordings.

Classical Music in Video. Contains more than 1,000 hours of classical music performances and masterclasses in streaming video.

If you have questions or need reference assistance, call us at 415-557-4525 during regular Library hours.