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

First page of the first issue of the  Bay Area Reporter , 1971, GLBT Historical Society

First page of the first issue of the Bay Area Reporter, 1971, GLBT Historical Society

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. Currently includes all issues from January 1973 through July 2005.

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. Currently includes all issues from May 1971 through July 2005.

Bay Area Reporter Obituary Database

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

AIDS Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) Records

Collection #2000-46

This collection includes the records of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel, an organization founded in 1983 that connects people with AIDS and volunteer lawyers willing to donate time and expertise in order to assist them with matters including creating wills, durable powers of attorney, health care documentation, and other legal paperwork. Also included in this collection 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.

Linda Alband Collection of Randy Shilts Materials

Collection #2003-09

Randy Shilts (1951 – 1994) was a prominent, openly gay journalist and author. A freelance television and newspaper reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, Shilts covered issues facing local LGBTQ communities, most notably the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Shilts published three books: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982), And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1989), and Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military, Vietnam to the Persian Gulf (1993). Linda Alband was Shilts’ longtime friend and his business manager for the last five-and-a-half years of his life. The Linda Alband collection of Randy Shilts materials documents Shilts’ personal and political work, and dates from 1966–1999. Linda Alband assembled the materials in the collection during Shilts’ life and after his death, working to preserve his legacy. The collection is housed on Calisphere.


Sue Rochman Papers

Collection #2005-13

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.

Marie Ueda Photographs

Collection #2006-12

Marie Ueda, a Japanese-born photojournalist who specializes in international news coverage, took photographs of San Francisco gay events during the 1970s to 1990s. There are photos of Harvey Milk, Pride Parades, White Night Riots, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and other major events. Most of the photographs are from the late 1970s. The collection is housed on Calisphere.


Lou Sullivan Correspondence

Collection #1991-07

The Lou Sullivan Correspondence collection includes letters between Lou and various medical professionals, colleagues, and friends. Some correspondents include Rupert Raj, Alyn Hess, Dr. Michael Brownstein, and Dr. Paul Walker. Lou Sullivan was known for identifying as an openly gay trans 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.

Vanguard Magazine

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, and economic discrimination. Vanguard served as a platform to foster community and organize demonstrations for civil rights. Later issues address the Vietnam War and encourage a movement for peace. This collection also includes 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.

Internet Archive selections

This online repository, housed at the Internet Archive, contains moving image and audio selections from our archives, including oral histories, radio recordings, and special event footage.

Online Audio Collections

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.

 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.

Subscription-Based Collections

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.

Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBT History and Culture Since 1940, Part I

Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part II

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