search collections

You can search our archival holdings via keyword in the catalog, browse material in the collection listings and view curated subject research guides.

A few of our collections have been digitized and are available online. Click here to consult the digital collections.

Catalog Search

Use the catalog to search our archival collections, periodicals and oral histories. Results may point you to a finding aid which will contain more detailed information.

Please note that descriptive language for queer identities evolves quickly and some of these descriptions may now be dated. Descriptions are themselves historical documents; they reflect the moment in which they were written and often reflect the terms that subjects used for themselves. Please email reference@glbthistory.org with questions or comments.

Search our archives

Where do you want to look?

  • Archival collections
  • Periodical collections
  • Oral histories

What are you looking for?

You can also keyword search detailed guides to selected collections on the Online Archive of California.


Collection Listings

Collections list

This list contains all of our current collections available for research. Please note that some collections may not be listed because they have not yet been fully processed by staff. 

Periodicals list

This listing details the periodicals we have in alphabetical order.

Ephemera collections

The following finding aids are available on the Online Archive of California.

Biography Ephemera Collection

Business Ephemera Collection

General Subjects Ephemera Collection

Groups Ephemera Collection

Digitized audiovisual materials list

This list details audiovisual materials that have been digitized. Some may be available online; others are only available on site in the reading room. For information regarding access, contact us at reference@glbthistory.org.

Research Guides

Holdings Related to Religion and Spirituality

This research guide will help users locate holdings related to religion and spirituality at the GLBT Historical Society.

LGBTQ Historic Places in San Francisco

Citywide Historic Context Statement for LGBTQ History in San Francisco

The GLBT Historical Society also maintains the San Francisco LGBTQ Sites Database, listing nearly 2,000 sites. The resource was created by Willie Walker and Eric Garber for the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay History Project; it was transferred to the Historical Society in 1985. It includes later additions by Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Damon Scott. The data is searchable by site type, site name, location, dates, description and citations. The Sites Database is available for use in the GLBT Historical Society reading room; to make an appointment, click here


Photo: Crawford Wayne Barton, Kissing on the steps, 1977, Crawford Wayne Barton collection (1993-11), GLBT Historical Society