Visit the Land of Golden Dreams at the Huntington Library

Land of Golden Dreams
California in the Gold Rush Decade, 1848-1858

See the Exhibition at the Huntington
September 28, 1999-September 10, 2000

A major special exhibition of the original manuscripts, drawings, letters, paintings, books, and diaries shown in this online exhibition—as well as many other pieces from our splendid Gold Rush collection—will be on display at the Huntington Library through September 10, 2000.

Showcased in the Library's Main Exhibition Hall, the exhibit pays particular attention to the many dreams inspired by the discovery of California's golden riches. The Huntington is particularly fortunate to have an extensive collection of original documents written by many different men and women who came seeking a golden reward. Among the treasures on display are:

  • dozens of letters and diaries written by the forty-niners;
  • guide books to California from the 1850s published in England, France, Switzerland, and Russia;
  • illustrated letter sheets printed in San Francisco showing daily life in the gold country;
  • a handwritten 1856 "newspaper" from the mining camp of Orleans Bar;
  • original drawings by Gold Rush artists J. Goldsborough Bruff and William Rich Hutton; and
  • artifacts such as a miner's gold pan, a Bowie knife used for digging gold out of rocky crevices, and a "treasure box" used for transporting gold.
Land of Golden Dreams: California in the Gold Rush Decade, 1848-1858 has been made possible through the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. Peter S. Bing, Mr. And Mrs. Charles T. Munger, Wells Fargo, Institute of Museum Services/Library Services and Technology Act, Times Mirror Foundation, Mrs. Helen Smetz, Dorothy Clune Trask Murray Foundation, and The GenCorp Foundation-Aerojet.

Historical artifacts were loaned through the generous assistance of the Historical Services Department of Wells Fargo Bank, Martha and Roy Tolles of San Marino, California, and Mrs. Ellen Ellis of Pasadena, California.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Please visit our General Information Page at for hours of admission and admission fees. For any other additional information call (626) 405-2141.

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