While the majority of our collections must be consulted in person, access to our digital collections continues to expand. The following collections are currently available in digital formats and can be consulted online.
For information regarding our take-down policy, please click here.
Bay Area Reporter Archive
The Bay Area Reporter (BAR) is the oldest continuously published lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender weekly newspaper in the United States. Founded in 1971, the publication is known for its original coverage of news, culture and entertainment.The Bay Area Reporter is published every Thursday by BAR Media Inc. The print edition is distributed free of charge in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Since August 2005, the complete editorial contents also have been posted on the newspaper’s website.
Complete issues of the Bay Area Reporter produced from the founding of the paper in 1971 through the launch of its own website in 2005 are now posted and fully searchable via the partners for the GLBT Historical Society’s BAR digitization project. The two partner sites offer distinctive interfaces and differing functionality. Select the site that will best serve your needs:
Bay Area Reporter > | on the California Digital Newspaper Collection
This site returns the most comprehensive results for keyword searches. A free account is required if you wish to download PDFs. All issues from May 1971 through July 2005 are available.
Bay Area Reporter > | on the Internet Archive
This site provides the most effective access for browsing or reading issue by issue and page by page. You can download PDFs without registering for an account. All issues from May 1971 through July 2005 are available.
In cooperation with the Bay Area Reporter, this searchable database contains all obituaries that have appeared in the BAR since it began publishing them in 1972.
About the Bob Ross Foundation
The digitization of the complete run of the Bay Area Reporter was made possible by generous grants from the Bob Ross Foundation. Based in San Francisco, the Bob Ross Foundation was established in 1996 by Bob Ross (1934–2003). A pioneer of LGBT community journalism, Ross was the co-founder of the Bay Area Reporter. He served as publisher from 1971 until his death in 2003. Tom Horn, publisher emeritus of the Bay Area Reporter, is now the trustee of the foundation, which provides grants to a Bay Area LGBT nonprofits and supports charities and causes that reflect the philanthropic priorities established by Ross.
Open Access Collections
This collection includes the records of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, an organization founded in 1983 that connects people with AIDS and volunteer lawyers. Also included are materials from the Women’s AIDS Network, the primary player in getting AIDS organizations and physicians to address issues related to women infected, or at risk of contracting, HIV. The collection is housed on Calisphere.
Randy Shilts (1951–1994) was a prominent, openly gay journalist and author. As a freelance reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shilts covered issues facing local LGBTQ communities, most notably the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Linda Alband was Shilts’ longtime friend and his business manager for the last five and a half years of his life. The collection documents Shilts’ personal and political work, and dates from 1966–1999. Linda Alband assembled the materials during Shilts’ life and after his death. The collection is housed on Calisphere.
Beowulf Thorne (Jack Henry Foster) was a political activist on issues affecting PWAs (People with AIDS). He was one of the founders, with Tom Shearer, of the magazine Diseased Pariah News (DPN). He used his skills as a writer, editor, and graphic artist on the magazine. The digital collection documents the operations, both commercial and artistic of DPN, as well as the work of Oakland’s Condom Resource Center.
Crawford Wayne Barton (1943–1993) is best known as a photographer of San Francisco's gay community in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The digital collection includes selections from the Crawford Wayne Barton papers, including images related to LGBTQ cultural sites, events and people. Some major subjects include candlelight marches, Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day / Pride and Castro Street. The collection is housed on DIVA.
This online repository, housed at the Internet Archive, contains moving image and audio recordings and papers from our archives, including oral histories, radio recordings, newspapers, and special event footage. Selections from the Elsa Gidlow papers, BML Videos, M.J. Talbot papers, the Fruit Punch Collective, The Gay Life radio series, Chana Wilson recordings, GLBTHS Oral History collection, and the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) archive are included.
This is a collection of black and white photographs created by Elaine Gay Jarvis of the 1978 Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco. The collection is housed on DIVA.
Henri Leleu (1907–1996) was a photographer, traveler, veteran, and gay activist. The digital collection includes selections from the Henri Leleu papers, including images related to LGBTQ cultural sites, events, and people, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Some major subjects include the Gay Softball League, Koalas, protests, SF Tavern Guild, and politics. The collection is housed on DIVA.
Robert Pruzan (1946–1992) was a photographer and photojournalist. Much of his work documents LGBTQ life in San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s. The digital collection includes selections from the Robert Pruzan papers, including images related to LGBTQ cultural sites, events, and people. Some major subjects include Arena Bare Chest Contests, the Gay Games, Harvey Milk’s birthday celebrations, and Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day / Pride. The collection is housed on DIVA.
Sue Rochman is a freelance health journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area specializing in oncology and HIV. These files contain her research and notes on HIV/AIDS and prison populations. Materials include correspondence from prisoners and prison activists, published articles, reports by government agencies and non-profit organizations, and handwritten notes from interviews, conversations, and readings. Most pertain to prisons in New York, California, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Alabama and were created between 1988 and 1991. The collection is housed on Calisphere.
The Lou Sullivan Correspondence collection includes letters between Sullivan and various medical professionals, colleagues, and friends. Some correspondents include Rupert Raj, Alyn Hess, Dr. Michael Brownstein, and Dr. Paul Walker. Sullivan was known for identifying as an openly gay transgender man and fought for the medical and social rights of those who identified similarly. These letters, dated from 1973 to 1991, detail Lou's medical transition, FtM publications, and his struggle with AIDS. The collection is housed on the Digital Transgender Archive.
This digital collection includes selections from the Marie Ueda collection. Ueda, a Japanese-born photojournalist who specializes in international news coverage, captured photographs of San Francisco gay events during the 1970s to 1990s. There are images of Harvey Milk, Pride Parades, White Night Riots, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and other major events and figures. The collection is housed on Calisphere.
This collection includes ten zines created and published by Vanguard from 1966–1967 and a retrospective zine created in 2011. Contributors to Vanguard were LGBTQ youth from the streets of the Tenderloin district in San Francisco. These zines contain poems, art, and articles that reflect the issues faced by poor LGBTQ youth at the time, covering topics such as police brutality, drug addiction, the Vietnam War, and economic discrimination. Also included is an edition of Vanguard Magazine from 2011 that republishes original content with retrospectives by the authors and new contributors who share some of their experiences.
The following two collections feature a keyword search function.
The Gay Life radio series (1973–1984)
Randall H. Alfred is a freelance journalist and radio talk show host in the San Francisco area. He hosted the KSAN public affairs radio talk show “The Gay Life” for over a decade. Selections from “The Gay Life” radio series are also available on DIVA here.
Fruit Punch recordings (1975–1979)
Fruit Punch was a groundbreaking gay radio program that debuted on KPFA Berkeley in 1973. The shows cover a wide range of subjects, both political and cultural. Burke was a radio producer and member of the Fruit Punch collective. A finding aid is available here.
The following two collections, which feature materials sourced from numerous institutions including the GLBT Historical Society, are housed at Gale/Cengage and require a subscription. Access is available in the reading room of the GLBT Historical Society. Most students should have access through university libraries, and many public libraries will also have a subscription.
Selections from the following GLBT Historical Society archival collections are represented:
The Allan Bérubé papers
The Homophile Movement: Papers of Donald Stewart Lucas, 1941–1976
John Kyper collection of gay liberation ephemera and publications
Ms. Bob Davis Collection
Randy Burns papers
Will Roscoe papers and Gay American Indians records
Asian/Pacific AIDS Coalition records
Martin Meeker collection of oral histories, photographs and ephemera
National Transgender Library Collection
TransGender San Francisco (TGSF) collection
Wide Open Town History Project records
Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin and the Daughters of Bilitis
Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin: Beyond the Daughters of Bilitis
Politics, Social Activism, and Community Support: Selected Newspapers and Periodicals from the GLBT Historical Society