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Every year, the San Francisco History Association offers research gifts of up to $500 for organizations, schools, or individuals to use for San Francisco history-related projects. These may include oral histories, dramatic performances, video and photographic essays, displays or library programs, and neighborhood ethnic histories.

SFHA board members present a check 


Every year, three research gifts are available for San Francisco history-related projects. These might include oral histories, dramatic performances, video or photographic essays about neighborhood history, neighborhood ethnic histories, etc.


Proposals for projects will be accepted year round. Student groups must be supervised by a teacher or other qualified adult, and must submit a written proposal outlining:

  • the project to be done
  • method or process to be used to complete proposed project
  • number of students involved and their role in the project
  • detailed budget
  • proposed result (play, video, book, etc.)
  • dissemination process (photo display at local venue, video viewing by parents and other students, neighborhood history map given to local residents, etc.)


Application forms are available here.

If you have any questions about the SFHA Research Gift Program please contact the Committee Chair Vicky Walker.

Research Gifts Awarded

In 2011, the SFHA awarded three research gifts that showcase a variety of historical research.

David Giesen of the Henry George Historical Society wrote a short play, Dogs and Coyotes, Baseballs and Rabbits, based on historical news accounts of Bernal Heights youth and their exploits on the hill. David has assembled a teen cast via the Bernal Youth Theater and begun script rehearsals.

Geordie Lynch, co-director of Silver Rush documentary City of White Gold: San Francisco in the Gilded Age, used the funds to record a video interview with Terence Young on the creation of Golden Gate Park. Geordie was SFHA’s guest speaker in February 2012, and updated us on the progress of his film. 

Lakeshore Elementary schoolteacher Oliver Glover and his second-grade class are working on a project titled “Exploring San Francisco’s History Through Architecture.” Students will visit sites of interest around the city, examine historical resources and artifacts, and create artistic projects and illustrations.

The Research Gift Program is open to anyone who can demonstrate that their project or event helps develop and expand knowledge of and interest in San Francisco history. 

In 2009, SFHA provided a research gift to Lincoln High School teachers Valerie Ziegler and Shamira Gratch. They had created a unit on the Beat generation in San Francisco. The SFHA research gift provided funds for a field trip to North Beach.

The teachers sent SFHA a two-sided thank-you note (shown here) signed by the students.

Some of the notes from the students:

"The fieldtrip was a fun and exciting experience. Thank you all so much for helping us learn more about San Francisco history."

"Thank you for providing us an opportunity to learn more about the Beat generation. It¹s people like you who help our generation grow into greater individuals."

"I loved the museum. It was so cool. I learned so much about the beat generation."

"We all had tons of fun and learned much about the beats and what they were all about."

"I learned a lot more than I expected."


completed projects 

Archbishop Riordan High School Project  


Presidio School Project & Sunnyside History Day Project

winners of the SFHA research gift

Bernal Youth Theater
Geordie Lynch
Lakeshore Elementary

“Transcription of Interview with George Whitney”
Woody LaBounty, Western Neighborhoods Project

“The Beatniks: A Study of San Francisco in the 1950s”
Valerie Ziegler and Shamira Gratch, Abraham Lincoln High School

“Oral History Project”
Bianca Hill and Kristi Coale, Star of the Sea Elementary School

“Mural Art Project”
Andrew Mughannam, Mission Dolores Elementary School

“San Francisco: 100 Years of Pivotal History”
Audrey Perada-Magnusen, Archbishop Riordan High School

“Class of 2006”
Jane Muramoto Yung, Presidio Middle School

“Sunnyside History Project, Sunnyside Neighborhood Association”
Jennifer Heggie, Sunnyside Elementary School

“San Francisco Histories Book Making Project”
Oliver Glover, Lakeshore Elementary School

“Waves and Layers II,” photography class
Jack Alter, Lincoln High School

“Sunset District interviews with photographs”
Jack Alter, Lincoln High School

“Discovery Box and Historical San Francisco Travel Brochure”
Lakeshore Elementary School

“Dramatic Performance about Mission Dolores”
George Moscone Elementary School