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


Season Exhibits

Lucy and Desi

Palm Springs Loves Lucy & Desi

In partnership with Lucie Arnaz the exhibit features film clips from family home movies and clothes, posters, memorabilla and other ephemera. Many items on loan from the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York - Lucy's birthplace.

Many of the home movies provided by Lucie Arnaz were filmed at their Thunderbird Country Club home where the famous family relaxed with friends away from the pressure of their hectic television production schedule.



Palm Springs Villager Advertisements 1946-1959

Takes a look backwards to the advertising genius of the "Mad Men" who created the designs that drove the economic boom of the post-World War II era into the fabulous 1950s.

Movies made in Palm Springs

Movies Made in Palm Springs

Beginning in 1915, Hollywood studios found Palm Springs the perfect backdrop for shooting the deserts of Africa, Middle East and American West. Come see vintage film shorts and many photographs depicting film crews at work.

permanent exhibits

Inside the Adobe Museum you will find exhibits displaying Palm Springs’ colorful life. You’ll be unable to resist hundreds of historical photographs dating from the 1880s to the 1980s; including photos, letters and paintings from the early pioneers who made us who we are today. Then take a seat, get comfortable and watch an absorbing 20-minute video about the City’s beginnings.



 The Cornelia White House (1893)

Cornelia Whitehouse Palm Springs

If you’re curious to see what a turn-of-the-century Palm Springs residence might have looked like, walk next door to the Cornelia White House. This house was once part of the first hotel in Palm Springs (The Palm Springs Hotel) and was later home to pioneer Cornelia White.

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

Note: The Cornelia White House will close on May 29th, 2018 for the 2019 season for refurbishing. 


 Welwood Murray Memorial Library (1940)

Welwood Murray Memorial Library

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.

-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: 760-656-7469 
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 from 9 am to 9 pm everyday.

WMML Policies and Services

100 South Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA 92262



Palm Springs Historical Walking Tours

Palm Springs Historical Walking Tours


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

Come visit us and see for yourself. 

Walking tours are now only available by arranging a private tour. Contact the Palm Springs Historical Society for pricing and to make arrangements.  Our regular walking tour season will begin again in October 2018. 


The Palm Springs Historical Society is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, and all proceeds from our walking tours and events benefit the Palm Springs Historical Society. 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
Monday - Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The museum will be closed for an event on April 24.
Hours may adjust due to tours and maintenance. 

The Cornelia White House Museum
Will be closed for refurbishing until further notice.

The Welwood Murray Memorial Museum
Is open year round Mon-Fri 9:00 am to 5:00 pm by appointment.
Call 760-656-7469

Walking Tours
Private Tours can be arranged by calling 760-656-7469.
The regular walking tour season is in full swing check out the schedule.
Modernism Week Tours on sale at modernismweek.com.


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