Projects and Grants

This page details ongoing funded projects currently being undertaken by the GLBT Historical Society.

Archival Projects

The San Francisco Bay Area’s Response to the AIDS Epidemic: Digitizing, Reuniting, and Providing Universal Access to Historical AIDS Records

In 2017, the GLBT Historical Society, the Archives and Special Collections department of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the San Francisco Public Library received a $315,000 joint implementation grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grant funds the digitization of approximately 127,000 pages from 49 archival collections held by the three institutions related to the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the Bay Area. The digitized material will be made widely accessible to the public online. For more information about the project, click here.


Illuminating San Francisco’s Rainbow: Preserving, Protecting, and Publicizing the GLBT Historical Society’s Art & Artifacts Collection

In 2018, the GLBT Historical Society received a $30,000 grant from the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workplace Development’s Historic Preservation Fund to undertake a collection assessment effort focused on the GLBT Historical Society’s Art and Artifacts collection. The society’s collection of LGBTQ art and artifacts includes a diverse range of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, including paper materials such as drawings and sketches, architectural plans, and banners; metal objects such as buttons, plaques, and badges; three-dimensional artifacts such as sculptures, paintings, historic business signs, and theatrical props; and textiles, such as costumes, uniforms, and sashes. These objects provide visual and material evidence of the San Francisco LGBTQ community’s engagement with the social, cultural, civic, political, and physical dynamics of the city, from the late 19th century to the present day.

This project will survey the objects and create an inventory of the collection, while stabilizing and conserving these artifacts. Each object will be digitally photographed in high resolution and these images will be made freely available online.

Digitizing the Dirk Alphin Collection of Valencia Rose Videotapes

The Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) selected the GLBT Historical Society as one of its partners for the 2019 Preservation Access Program. This program, made possible by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, helps to subsidize the cost of preserving analog audio and video. The program will make it possible to digitize 20 VHS tapes from the Dirk Alphin Collection. The tapes include recordings of comedy, drag and other entertainment from 1985 that took place at the Valencia Rose, a San Francisco gay cabaret. For more information, click here.


San Francisco ACT UP Oral History Project

This project chronicles, preserves and shares the history of ACT UP/San Francisco and other AIDS direct-action groups in the city. This project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information on this project, click here.