Special Projects

A series of multi-year, multicultural initiatives focused on research, creative work, access to resources, and community-engaged learning, all designed to illuminate the diverse history of Santa Cruz County.

Archive Digitization

Unearthed: Digitizing the MAH General Photograph Collection

Project Timeframe: 2024–2027
Unearthed is an initiative to digitize, update documentation for, and make available online a collection of photographs depicting figures, businesses, industries, neighborhoods, events, and ethnographic communities in Santa Cruz County from the mid-1800s to the late 1900s.

We are currently seeking funding support for this initiative. To donate or learn more about the project, please contact us.

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London Nelson Legacy Initiative

Project Timeframe: 2022–2025
The London Nelson Legacy Initiative is a collaboration between a Black-led citizen group and the MAH to research and share the stories of Black pioneers in pre-1900s Santa Cruz County. The project also sheds light on a deeper story that needs to be told, one that not only connects Black communities in post Gold Rush-era California, but also the communities of yesteryear with the Black community today.

Visit the London Nelson Legacy Initiative page.


Queerstory: Preserving & Promoting the History of the LGBTQ+ Community in Santa Cruz

Project Timeframe: 2022–2024
Queerstory is an initiative that aims to digitize, publish online, and promote a collection of photographs, printed materials, and audiovisual components that document LGBTQ+ leaders, activism, and triumphs in Santa Cruz County from 1974 to present.

Visit the Queerstory page.

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Kincentricity: Growing Community through Learning Gardens

Project Timeframe: 2021–2024
Kincentricity is an initiative in collaboration with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, original stewards of the land on which Santa Cruz County stands. It is titled after their view that all things—plants, animals, earth, air, and water—are kin, and as such, we are to care for them. The project heeds the call to center Indigenous peoples and their history, needs, beliefs, traditional arts, and modern expressions in community-based artistic and curatorial practice.

Visit the Kincentricity blog.

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