About Palm Springs Historical Society

The Palm Springs Historical Society is a non-profit organization established in 1955 by Melba Berry Bennett. The Society operates two museums and a Research Library.

The McCallum Adobe (built in 1884) and the Cornelia White House (built in 1893) are the two oldest buildings in Palm Springs. The Welwood Murray Memorial Library (1940) is the archives and research library.

 The McCallum Adobe (1884)

The McCallum Adobe

Closed to the public due to COVID-19. TOURS will resume October 2021.

Available by phone 760-323-8297

permanent exhibits

Palm Springs in the Beginning: Palm Springs has been inhabited by the Native Americans for thousands of years. In 1884, the first permanent white resident bought land and made Palm Springs his home. The McCallum’s were the first in a list of pioneers to come to Palm Springs. The men and women who lived in Palm Springs before it became a city shaped what it is today.

Notables Wall
“Well, all those people you expect to see in Los Angeles will want some place to play. I mean to have a sand pile in Los Angeles’ backyard.”

Nellie Coffman — The Desert Inn

Pioneer woman Nellie Coffman knew Palm Springs was the perfect location for celebrities to escape the busy city life and enjoy the beauty and health benefits of the desert. Palm Springs became the sandbox for Actors, Musicians, Politicians, Athletes and World Influencers to play in. Each notable man or woman impacted the village and continued with the Legends of Palm Springs.

season exhibits 

Raymond Loewy Exhibit 

Raymond Loewy is not a name we hear too often anymore, but when we see his work we recognize it. Think of Air Force One, the iconic Robin Egg Blue coloration and the United States of America typeface elegantly placed on the side. He did that design for President Kennedy. It happened because Palm Springs is a place that draws people and men like Raymond Loewy did some of his best work while living in Palm Springs.

The Right to Know-The Desert Sun Exhibit

Local Papers are often seen as watchdogs, they keep the community informed while national papers focus on “bigger” stories. The Desert Sun, which has been around for more than 90 years, has been a keeper of Palm Springs history. It has also provided the community with a fundamental right, knowledge.

“The Right to Know” exhibits follows the growth of the Desert Sun. Its change from a once a week print to the daily it is today. Learn about the papers that once informed the Coachella Valley and the writer that filled the pages with stories we can still enjoy today.

 The Cornelia White House (1893)

Cornelia Whitehouse Palm Springs

Closed to the public due to COVID-19

Available by phone 760-323-8297

After a complete restoration, the Cornelia White House is on its way to being open. Take a step through time as you enter the second oldest structure in Palm Springs. Once part of the first hotel in Palm Springs, it became Cornelia Whites home until her passing in 1961.

Knowledgeable and personable curators are always on hand to answer questions - and if encouraged they probably might have a story or two to share.


 Welwood Murray Memorial Library (1940)

Welwood Murray Memorial Library

Closed due to COVID-19

Available by phone 760-656-7394

The library located at 100 South Palm Canyon Drive at the corner of East Tahquitz Canyon Way, designed by architect John Porter Clark, opened in 1940..

The library's recent renovation now houses a research library and storage facility for the Palm Springs Historical Society, provides tourism information, computer stations and community meeting space for the public.

Palm Springs Historical Society Research Library

Hours for the Research Library
(at the Welwood Murrary Memorial Library)

Open Mon - Fri 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by appointment. Hours may vary at this time.

-VIEW the Research Library Online
The PSHS Research Library offers numerous materials from the Museum's collection. Browse our extensive online database, explore photos, books, periodicals, manuscripts, and much more.

Check out our Online Collections Database

-VISIT the Research Library
Tel: 760-656-7394
If you need further assistance please call to make an appointment. Arrangements must be made prior with the Historical Society to access historic archives on site at the library.

PSHS Policies and Services

Downtown Public Library and Visitors Center

Public Library Tel: 760-323-8296
The WMML provides library services as a branch of the main Palm Springs Library, free WiFi, public computers and a browsing collection of national magazines and newspapers. It also functions as a downtown visitors center.

WMML Policies and Services

100 South Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262

Palm Springs Historical Tours

Palm Springs Historical Walking Tours

No Tours at this time due to COVID-19 statewide restrictions.

Available by phone 760-323-8297

Join us for an entertaining stroll through Palm Springs, enjoy tours full of history, fun stories, famous architecture and intrigue.

Come Visit Us and See For Yourself!
The Palm Springs Historical Society is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and all proceeds from our tours and events benefit the Palm Springs Historical Society. We are generously funded in part by the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Your support plays a unique role in preserving the history of Palm Springs. Thank you for your contribution. 

Admission is free to both museums. 


The McCallum Adobe Museum
Closed until further notice.

    The Cornelia White House Museum
    Closed until further notice.

    The Welwood Murray Memorial Museum
    Closed until further notice.
    Call 760-656-7394 for any questions Mon-Fri 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

    No tours until further notice due to coronavirus.

    Modernism Week Tours can be purchased at modernismweek.com follow the modWk schedule.


    Contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about the society.