Donating materials

We are constantly seeking to expand and enrich our archives with new materials. If you have materials you may be considering donating to us, please read about our collections policy here.

Collections Policy 

The GLBT Historical Society’s collections are focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer life in the wider San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. While we seek accessions in all areas, we are particularly interested in receiving materials documenting LGBTQ life prior to the 1970s, as well as those relating to LGBTQ people of color, women of all backgrounds, working class communities, and bisexual and transgender people.


What We Accept

Broadly speaking, we accept the following types of materials: 

  • Organizational records from LGBTQ organizations and groups transferred in their original folders and arrangement.

  • Personal papers from individuals in the LGBTQ community consisting of unique materials, such as journals, letters, and/or diaries, with as much biographical information about the individuals as possible.

  • LGBTQ periodicals, such as magazines, newspaper, newsletters and zines. Please note that we do not currently accept copies of The Advocate or Out, and do not accept non-LGBTQ periodicals.

  • Photographs of LGBTQ people, groups, and organizations with identified dates, people, places, and/or events, with as much information about the content of the photographs as possible.

  • Ephemera, or paper items originally meant to be discarded after use, such as LGBTQ-related posters, tickets, political pamphlets, flyers, postcards, guides, and promotional items.

We do not accept books, published papers, or duplicates.


How to Donate

If you have materials that fall within the scope of our collection policy, please email us for further information. Please do not mail or drop off donations without prior approval from staff, as we will be unable to accept them.

All donors will be asked to sign a formal deed of gift for recordkeeping and legal purpose

Photo: Campaign materials, 1961, José Sarria papers (1996-01), GLBT Historical Society