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Our Mission: History inspires imagination, stimulates thought and transforms society.

The Los Altos History Museum preserves and shares our local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

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Upcoming Exhibit

Spirits Return: Cultural Traditions Keeping  Memories Alive
Opens October 29, 2015

Human beings all over the world follow traditions by which they honor and celebrate their ancestors. In fact, the various cultures’ rituals and celebrations often share similar elements. Families may visit the graves of loved ones and bring food and drinks; they erect altars to honor the departed; and invite them to come back to visit. We also tell stories, so that those who never knew our ancestors can feel connected to their heritage, and those who did know them continue to remember. These traditions help us stay connected and cultivate a sense of identity and nurture values of family loyalty and pride. This new exhibit is a multi-cultural look at how we remember our loved ones who have passed on.

Exhibit Programs

Explore the Aztec Roots of El Día de los Muertos
Thursday, October 29, 6:30pm at the Los Altos Library
Join us for a fascinating discussion about the Day of the Dead with Sunnyvale artist and social scientist Daniel Malinali. For more information click here.

Exhibit Reception: November 1, 2015, 4-7pm, with Mexican ballet folklόrico, Taiko drummers and Obon dancers.

Vintage Tintype Photography

Now on exhibit in the Smith House Gallery

Coinciding with the current exhibit Reflect + Create: Where Art & History Intersect, Emmy Award-winning instructor, Russell Brown from Adobe Systems, recently taught a workshop on Vintage Tintype Photography. Participants learned how to create "new" vintage tintype images using inkjet-printed emulsion transferred onto aged metal. The end result is reminiscent of the photographic processes of the late 1800s including tintypes, cyanotypes, and ambrotypes.

Bob Grimm Memorial

On May 2 friends and family gathered to celebrate and honor the life of Bob Grimm who passed away on March 21 while on vacation in Tanzania, Africa. Below is a video of the memorial service. You can also watch it by clicking here.


Upcoming Events

exhibit events

Lean In Circle
Second Wednesdays, 6-8pm

Speakers and networking for emerging professional women. Free, registration required.




Catch the Spirit returns!
Wednesday, November 18, Noon - 4 pm
Local Authors Appearing at Catch the Spirit

Diana Chan - Animal Kingdom - Vertebrates, Animals with Backbones
Yvonne Jacobson - Memoirs of a Farmer's Daughter in Silicon Valley
Shannon Klein - Dogs of Los Altos
Teri Medcalf - Rambler Rose
Donald Neff - Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley
John Ralston - Fremont Older and the 1916 San Francisco Bombing: A Tireless Crusade for Justice

Support the Museum!

It's not too late to contribute to the Los Altos History Museum's 2014-2015 annual campaign. Click here to download our Annual Fund Donation Form, then mail in your gift today! Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

LAHM in My Out & About Magazine

The Los Altos History Museum was voted the best museum for Silicon Valley and the Coast by readers of My Out & About Magazine in their annual "What Do Locals Love" ballot!


Virtual tour of the J. Gilbert Smith House

Check out the virtual tour of the J. Gilbert Smith House on YouTube done by the Library: 3 chapters! Watch below or click here.


County History Today is a video series that highlights points of interest and historical sites in Santa Clara County, California. This video is the first part of a series of three videos that showcases the J. Gilbert Smith House in the City of Los Altos, CA.

Support LAHM through AmazonSmile!

Bookmark the Los Altos History Museum AmazonSmile page and use it every time you shop at Amazon.com. By using this link, 0.5% of your eligible purchase total will benefit the Los Altos History Museum.




The Los Altos History Museum

Snoopy Plate from California Association of Museums

Did you know that Snoopy supports museums like the Los Altos History Museum? Pre-order a Snoopy license plate here and support all California museums! Once 7,500 license plates are sold, a new museum grant program will be established by the state. Plus, how cute will Snoopy look on your car!

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