Lost Landscapes of San Francisco with Archivist Rick Prelinger


Archivist Rick Prelinger is a keeper of treasures—and a San Francisco treasure himself. On Saturday, May 16 starting at 2pm, Rick will share gems from his film collection at the Exploratorium's McBean Theater as he takes his audience on a tour of the Lost Landscapes of San Francisco. Drawing from his collection of rare film, Rick constructs a San Francisco landscape unlike the San Francisco we know today using news reels, amateurs footage, and industrial film. He will invite the audience to provide the "soundtrack" through their revelations ("Whoa, that's where my apartment building is today!") and questions about life in a forgotten San Francisco that's best explored through the lenses of the cameras that captured it.

In 2004, Rick and his wife Megan took their personal collection of books, trade periodicals, film, and ephemera and opened the Prelinger Library. The Prelinger Library is located at 8th and Folsom (301 8th Street, Room 215), and they open it to the public on most Wednesday evenings and certain Sundays (check the site for more info). The library is incredible, housing everything from trade journals you never imagined existed—like American Cemetery—and mountains of sensus data to maps from everywhere and books about the history of media, transportation, and communications. It's a great place to go whether you have a research goal in mind or just love to get lost in rarities, books, and ephemera.

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