About

History San José preserves and enriches the cultural heritage of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley through research, collections, partnerships, educational programs and events.

Research and Collections / we bring the past into the present helping to inform the future

HSJ preserves the Valley’s material culture, actively engaging the community in original research to share with a world-wide audience. We provide access to research through archives, social media, exhibitions and educational programs. We offer resources and assistance to anyone wishing to research local history, including artists, students, reporters, film makers, designers, business, government and you!

Partnerships / we celebrate people telling their own stories in their own way

Our partnerships enrich and inform all of our programming, and make it relevant: Academic Film Archive of North America, African American Heritage House, Bay Area Glass Institute, California Pioneers of Santa Clara County, California Trolley & Railroad Corporation, Chinese Historical & Cultural Project, Connie L. Lurie College of Education Assoc., Epic Immersive, Digital Clubhouse Network, Immigrant Resettlement and Cultural Center, Inc., Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County, Poetry Center San Jose, Portraits of the Past, Portuguese Heritage Society of California, Rotary Club of San Jose, San Jose Fire Museum, San Jose Printers Guild, Schmahl Science Workshop, Silicon Valley Shakespeare and Spirit of ’45.

Educational Programs / we believe history is not something you read about, but something you do

We serve more than 24,000 elementary age students in Santa Clara Valley, Fremont, Santa Cruz and the Peninsula. HSJ offers theme-based school programs highlighting local history that are closely linked with Common Core State Standards and new College, and Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. Our field trips utilize object-based lessons and hands-on activities designed to teach students core competencies required for 21st century life, including empathizing, critical thinking, self-directed learning and collaborating. We also offer internship opportunities for college and graduate students.

Events / we are a destination for experiencing and celebrating the Valley’s cultural heritage

Our events focus on programming that results in active inter-generational engagement, enjoyment, and learning through a combination of hands-on crafts, storytelling, cultural performances and family-friendly, inquiry-based tours and experiences.

Annual events include:

  • Bicycle & Car Culture: Silicon Valley Bikes Festival; Shiny Side Up Bicycle Show; Antique Autos in History Par; Bombs United Car Show; Strangers Car Show; VW Spring Meet; Trains, Trolleys & Automobiles: Transportation Day
  • Food & Cultural Heritage: Taco Festival of Innovation; Italian Family Festa; Dia de Portugal; Dia de San Juan; Lunar New Year Celebration; San Jose Mini Maker Faire; Spirit of ’45 Day; Haunt History Park; Children’s Heritage Holiday
  • Music, Poetry, Printing & Theatre: Mathew Brier: The Age of Resurrection; San Jose Poetry Festival; Summer Sizzle Music Series; Wakespeare; Bay Area Printers Faire & Wayzgoose

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