About Our Collections

The archives of the GLBT Historical Society contain approximately 800 collections of personal papers, photographs and organizational records. These collections include unpublished material such as letters, diaries and scrapbooks documenting the lives of both average people and community leaders. They also include the records of many community organizations, businesses and political campaigns.

In addition, the archives holds over 70 linear feet of ephemera; 5,000 periodical titles; tens of thousands of photographs; approximately 1,000 t-shirts; thousands of posters; more than 500 oral histories; approximately 1,000 hours of recorded sound; and approximately 1,000 hours of film and video. The archives also has extensive holdings of historic textiles, fine and graphic arts, and artifacts.

For more information, see our collections policy.

Research Hours

Members. Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment, subject to availability. For an appointment, send an e-mail to our reference staff.

Members also can come in without an appointment on the first and third Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Non-Members. Open the first and third Saturday of each month from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; no appointment needed.

Non-members also can schedule appointments for Fridays, subject to availability. For appointments, please send an e-mail to our reference staff. For information on joining the Historical Society, see our membership page. Please note: no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Donating Materials

We are always interested in assessing donations of all kinds for inclusion in our collections. Currently, we would particularly like to fill gaps in our holdings, including materials documenting GLBT life prior to the 1970s, as well as GLBT people of color, lesbian and bisexual women of all social and cultural backgrounds, GLBT working class communities, and bisexual and transgender people of all time periods.

If you would like to offer a donation, please complete our online donation form. You can also send an email to reference@glbthistory.org. We cannot accept materials before the managing archivist has reviewed your completed donation form or discussed your donation with you via email or phone. Thank you.

Archives Location
657 Mission St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105


Read Our Blog

Read Visions and Voices of GLBT History, a blog by our project archivist, JoJo Black

Search the Collections

To search our collections, enter a term (even a part of a word) into the search boxes below.

Archival Collections

Periodicals Collection

Oral Histories

Audio Collections

Some 400 hours of San Francisco Bay Area gay and lesbian radio programs from the 1970s and 1980s are available on our website. For more information and to search the programs, visit our Gayback Machine.


The full text of all the obituaries published in the Bay Area Reporter since 1979 — more than 11,000 notices in all — are available in a searchable online database.