In 2009, senior registrar Stephen Lockwood came across a series of ledger books while examining the de Young’s offsite storage facility. These antique books contained detailed records of the weather and daily attendance at the de Young since its opening day in 1895. One entry was particularly interesting:
"5:15 AM, Wednesday, April 18/06. Terrific Earthquake which demolished the building and destroyed many of the exhibits. —John W. Rogers, Curator"
Below this entry, Rogers adds the note, "Museum closed indefinitely." The next entry wasn’t made until November 10, 1907.
Today (April, 2012) marks the 105th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake that ravaged San Francisco and severely damaged the old de Young. Recent events in Japan have heightened everyone’s concerns about earthquake preparedness, especially here in San Francisco. The Fine Arts Museums take the responsibility to protect visitors, staff and all artwork (on display and in storage) very seriously.