A Roadmap to SF GLBT Historical Society Archival Content

While the society’s archives remain closed in compliance with city and state health regulations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have been busy adding digital content for researchers at home and are thrilled to provide you with a roadmap to these resources. We have overhauled the archives area on the website to make it easier to find the content you’re looking for. On the website, click on “Online Resources” under the “Archives” tab, and you’ll find a new launch page for all of our digital materials featuring four colored boxes that link to the four following sections:  Digital Collections, accessed through the pink box (top left), are selections from our physical archival collections, scanned and photographed. We’ve vastly expanded this page in the last six months. Recent additions include ACT UP oral histories; videos of performers at the Valencia Rose cabaret in the 1980s; the Posters and Art and Artifacts collections; Jean-Baptiste Carhaix’s evocative photographs of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; Hal O’Neal’s home videos of gay men socializing as far back as the 1940s; and collections about lesbian poet Elsa Gidlow, Japanese American World War II incarceration-camp survivor Jiro Onuma, and the famed “Maestrapeace” mural on the Women’s Building in San Francisco.  Exhibitions, accessed through the yellow box (top right), takes you to our online exhibitions, curated and built since March by our museum staff. You can view exhibitions that were previously on display at the museum on Roz Joseph’s drag photographsAngela DavisGilbert Baker and more. And some of the exhibitions, such as AIDS Treatment Activism, are “born-digital” shows that are exclusively available online. Primary Source Sets, linked from the orange box (bottom left), are a new resource we’ve introduced this year. These are curated sets of images, articles and recordings on specific topics, ranging from drag to the Gay Games, to gays and lesbians in the military, to queer feminism and trans men and women. They’re great jumping-off points for research, and are intended to be especially helpful to students, educators and novice researchers. Research Guides are available through the blue box (bottom right). They’re textual roadmaps of the archives, also themed around specific topics, and intended for researchers who are planning to dig deeper and ultimately consult the physical archives. They list relevant collections, oral histories and periodicals. Also available here are our presentations about research and collection donation, as well as information about local LGBTQ historic places, links to other LGBTQ archives and more. We hope you’ll explore our online resources. And if you have any suggestions for topics you might like to see covered or any questions, email us at [email protected]. We’re here to help you!

Kelsi Evans is director of the Dr. John P. De Cecco Archives & Special Collections at the GLBT Historical Society.
Isaac Fellman is the reference archivist at the GLBT Historical Society.