Dolphin Club Archives

Dolphin Club Archives

Artifact 036, Rowing trophy
Artifact 241, Frisbee
Archives, 1892 Invitation post card

The Dolphin Club’s rich history has endowed the Archives with a collection of club records, documents, historic photographs, artifacts, artwork, digital material, ephemera, and of course, wooden boats. Since 2014, member volunteers have been organizing and cataloging this varied collection, building on the work of Walt Schneebeli, former Dolphin Club historian, and that of many others who helped to preserve Dolphin heritage.

In addition to care of the collections, the Archives oversees the History section of the Dolphin Club website, and assists Log editors and contributors with research and fact checking. We also assist researchers, members, and the public who have questions or information requests. We welcome donated materials with historic connections to the Dolphin Club.

View the Collection Online

Since 2019, the Archives has been using the CatalogIt database, which includes a platform – The HUB – to show folders of entries online. Several Archives folders are posted for viewing, including Photographs, Boats, Ephemera, Artifacts, and small thematic collections.

To view the collections and learn more about Dolphin Club history, tap the button below.


Archive volunteers are our most important resource to catalog and care for the collections. For more information on the Archives and to learn about volunteer opportunities, please email

The Dolphin Club Archives FAQ

The Dolphin Swimming and Boating Club, founded in 1877, is a San Francisco institution. It is a sports club and a social club, with a vibrant community of swimmers, rowers, handball players, runners, cooks, and friends. With its rich history, the Dolphin Club has a collection of club records, historic documents, artifacts, photographs, boats, and more materials which comprise the Archives. The Club Historian Richard Cooper, Archivist Morgan Kulla, and many volunteers support and maintain the Archives.

The project started in 2014, building on the work of many who preserved and organized the materials in the past, including Frank Staib, Brian Gilpin, and former Historian Walt Schneebeli. The first task was daunting, to find and look through over 90 banker boxes and large binders of paper records, stashed around the Club, filled with earwigs, rusty paper clips & rusty staples, and so many duplicates. It took three years and many volunteer hours to clean out, organize, and file these papers. Then we moved on to photographs, to artifacts, and to boats.

In 2019, we chose CatalogIt as our database.

The objectives of the project are to preserve, organize, research, and make accessible the materials in the Archives. In addition, the Archives makes materials available to the current leadership to facilitate informed decisions by being aware of past leaders’ decisions.

Documents: Board minutes (1899 to present, but with two large gaps 1912-1945 and 1961-1972), cashbooks (1891 to 1940), membership records, the Logs (1949 to present), articles of Incorporation/bylaws/constitutions, day to day operations files and correspondence, rule books, architectural plans and drawings, boat use log books, ephemera, scrapbooks, files with copies of newspaper/magazine articles back to the 1880s, books and publications, and more.

Artifacts: Trophies, artwork, clothing items, trinkets, historic boats on display, building elements (window, weather vane, signs), and much more.

Photographs: Historic photographs (almost 700 are cataloged), life member photographs, and framed photographs on walls.

Boats: 20 wooden boats and related documentation.

Digital material: Scans of oldest documents, digitized film clips, programs on VHS and DVDs, and various operational files saved in digitized form.

The artifacts and boats are stored where you see them, on the walls and in the boathouses, in plain view. The paper documents are stored in cabinets and storage spaces at the club. Stored materials are kept archival quality boxes, folders, sleeves, etc.

The most important documents, minutes and Logs have been scanned and are stored digitally as well. The Archives Admin files are stored on the archivist’s computer and two external hard drives along with other materials.

The Archivist can assist members, leadership, and researchers to access files of paper documents. Recent scanned minutes, monthly reports, bylaws, and rule books are viewable on the Files section of the members site.

Most of the Catalogit folders can be seen on the HUB, the internet platform of CatalogIt. Browse by folder or search by key words. See Images, pdfs, and other information on cataloged materials are stored in individual entries in CatalogIt. More entries are being created all the time.

In 2010 all the Dolphin Logs were scanned and posted on the Internet Archive (, along with a file of 51 history articles written by Walt Schneebeli for the Logs. There is another page with over 150 miscellaneous articles on the Club collected by the Historian.

Without volunteers there would be no archives. From the Historian, to the Archivist, to volunteers helping at work days at the club or doing work at home, volunteers have given thousands of hours of their time.

The Archivist handles many research requests each year; accepts donations of historical materials; writes a column “News from the Archives” for the Log; manages the Files section of members; thinks up ways to encourage members to explore the archives; and consults with professional archivists as necessary.

She does research to document materials in the collection, from information on individual artifacts and ephemera, to gathering documents on legal cases, historic SFRP resolutions on the rowing clubs, and building projects.

Finally, she works closely with current and past club leadership to try to collect records, correspondence, and documents used to conduct club business in order to save them in the Archives.

Other questions? Email

Updated 2/14/2024