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Often referred to as San Francisco's "queer Smithsonian," the GLBT Historical Society houses one of the world's largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. The society's GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States.

Sponsorships: Museum sponsorship provides essential support to one the GLBT community’s most significant cultural institutions — and offers visibility and other benefits to sponsors. For full details, click here.

Membership & Donations: To become a member or make a donation, click here.

To read about the three main challenges currently facing the organization, including the search for a new home for our archives, the need to renew the lease for the GLBT History Museum, and our efforts to satisfy exploding interest in GLBT history, click here.


MUSEUM HOURS
Monday, Wednesday– Saturday:
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.


MUSEUM LOCATION
4127 18th St. • San Francisco

MUSEUM HOME PAGE
www.glbthistorymuseum.org


Matlovich Time Cover


Out of the Boxes and onto the Net!

We're digitizing our amazing audiovisual collections and putting them on the Internet for you to enjoy. Check out our first offering, the entire run of the 1980s radio series The Gay Life. Click here.GayBackMachine


Sponsors

Sponsors of the GLBT History Museum
City & County of San Francisco: Grants for the Arts

Presenting Sponsor
Bob Ross Foundation • City and County of San Francisco: Grants for the Arts • Council on Library and Information Resources • National Historical Publications and Records Commission • Steven Speier, in memory of David Thormann • Walgreens • Andreas Weigend

Platinum Sponsors
David R. Kessler, M.D. • Levi Strauss • Wells Fargo

Gold Sponsors
AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange • Badlands and Toad Hall • Al Baum and Robert Holgate • Beaux Bar and the Midnight Sun • John Bell and Jason Spicer • Harvey’s Restaurant • Tomlinson Holman • Human Rights Campaign • Chris Lewis and Todd Reasinger • Emily Rosenberg and Darlene de Manincor • Rick Stokes and Alex Kiforenko

Silver Sponsors
Bank of the West • Troy Barber and Dan Stewart • Tom Burtch and Neil Austen•Colla Voce • Community Thrift Store • Elisabeth Cornu • Peter Lundberg and James Mowdy • James Neale•Alfredo Perdroza•See’s Candies•Sterling Art Services • Brian Turner • Whole Foods

Sponsors
John Alecca • Nancy Andrews • Gary Booher • Paul Christensen • Gray Clossman • Community Safety Foundation • Diana Coopersmith • Robert Croonquist • William Dickey • Mark Dimunation • Robert Dockendorff • Calvin Doucet • Andrew Ferguson • Gary Gansle • Kevin Gerber • Jerome Goldstein • Tim Gullicksen • Eric Hallquist • Peter Hirsh and Michael Bakish • James Hormel and Michael Nguyen • John Howard • Mario Hubert • Jack Lasner • Jason Macario • Paul Margolis • Todd Martin • Michael Moniz • Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong • Trenton Norris • William Patterson • Ken Prag • Merle Rabine • Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence • Rainbow Grocery Cooperative • Kerry Romesburg and Judy Romesburg • SF Gay Men’s Chorus • Gustavo Torres • Underglass Custom Framing • Burlington Willes • Jay Williams • Anders Winther and David Pike • Sondra Zambino

Donate to the GLBT Historical Society

Current Newsletter


Showing at the
GLBT History Museum

Queer Past

Main Gallery: Queer Past Becomes Present.

Front Gallery and Community Gallery: 30 Years of Collecting Art That Tells Our Stories.[NOTE: EXPLICIT CONTENT]


Other Current and Upcoming
Events and Programs

Marlena's Love Roast: The 2nd Annual José Sarria Community Celebration

Thursday, August 20, 2015 6-8 p.m., San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market Street

Photo of Willie Walker by Daniel Nicoletta

We’re pleased to co-sponsor a celebration of a community hero, Garry McLain, a.k.a. Marlena. In the 1970s and 1980s, he participated in countless events and fundraisers leading to his election in 1990 as Absolute Empress XXV of the San Francisco Imperial Court. Through his service as Empress, the many shows and charity events at his popular bar, Marlena’s, and his sponsorship of the Mr. Hayes Valley Leather title, Marlena has made our community stronger and more vibrant. Join us as we toast and roast the contributions of this special friend of José Sarria. Tickets available here.

NOTE: Due to the scheduled temporary closure of the Transbay Tube, our archives will be closed on Saturday, August 1.


Our 30th Anniversary

So many stories to tell

by Linnea Due

In 1985, branding was not exactly a buzzword—unless you owned a cattle ranch. Still, the founders of the GLBT Historical Society realized that priceless items that told queer history were lost every day through the AIDS crisis. Willie Walker and others mounted a campaign to underscore the importance of saving papers, photographs, and periodicals.

Photo of Willie Walker by Daniel Nicoletta

The task was harder than it may seem. Consider: in those years, many people were in the closet. Lovers and friends swooped into apartments and destroyed “the evidence.” Grieving parents did the same. Even those who were proudly out might not realize the importance of saving newspapers, magazines, and letters.

The Historical Society needed to educate the public, and humor is often the best communicator. Slogans like “Have We Got a Story to Tell!” and “Now that You’re Out of the Closet, What Else Is in There?” got the message across without a lecture or an admonition. Slogans were printed on buttons, brochures, and advertisements. And material started flowing in—periodicals at first, and later letters, diaries, photographs, and artwork. (An exhibition of three decades of paintings, drawings, and three-dimensional objects is now on view at the GLBT History Museum.)

Now, as pioneers of gay liberation in the ‘50s and ‘60s grow gray, the GLBT Historical Society underscores the importance of gathering oral histories. Similarly, if those early messages hadn’t gotten across, we would have lost more, compounding the tragedy of AIDS.

Bay Area native Linnea Due is an award-winning writer and editor.

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GLBTHS Museum Logo

Exhibitions & Programs
GLBT History Museum

4127 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (415) 621-1107
GLBTHS logo

Archives, Reading Room &
Administrative Offices

GLBT Historical Society
657 Mission St., Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 777-5455
Fax: (415) 777-5576

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society collects, preserves, and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. We sponsor exhibitions and programs on an ongoing basis.