It was in the heart of San Francisco at the Six Gallery on October 7th, 1955 that Allen Ginsberg's first read Howl. From that moment on the Beats would become known as a significant cultural influence that would challenge and ultimately change the world.
From the arrest of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and subsequent Howl trial to the publication of On the Road by Jack Kerouac, the Beat Museum allows you to step back in time to where it all began. Explore the influence of the Russian satellite Sputnik, the Beat Generation Women Writers, gay rights, environmentalism, and more. You'll see first editions, autographs, original artifacts, plus watch movies in the theater room.
The Beat Museum is home to an extensive collection of Beat memorabilia, including original manuscripts and first editions, letters, personal effects and cultural ephemera. Located in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, it occupies the same ground that was once the epicenter for Beat activity during the 1950s.
The Beat Museum is dedicated to spreading the spirit of The Beat Generation, which we define as tolerance, compassion and having the courage to live your individual truth. The Beats, as in beaten down and beatific, were a collective of writers, artists and thinkers that congregated in 1950s San Francisco.
The Beat Museum has been independently owned and operated since its inception in 2003. We are dedicated to carrying on the Beat’s legacy by exposing their work to new audiences, encouraging journeys—both interior and exterior—and being a resource on how one person’s perspective can have meaning to many.