Overview of the GLBT Historical Society

9 Feb

The GLBT Historical Society (GLBTHS) located on Mission Street in San Francisco serves as a durable archive for everything which relates to the gay and transgender community. With that said it is more than just a library housing text material and photos, but rather something more along the lines of a museum. While that sounds great there is still more as each month delivers a host of activities geared to persons of all ages, backgrounds, and personal interests making it a living organization that not only provides the means to educate but actively educates.

The GLBTHS is a non profit organization which now houses the largest collection of LGBT related material in the world. They are open to the public on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and by appointment to members from Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 1:00 to 5:00 PM. In general the archives are used by journalists, students, filmmakers, and academics who desire to get accurate information regarding LGBT people throughout history. Any person that wishes to peruse the material housed within the GLBTHS is however welcome to as arrangements can always be made by request.

While the archives are legendary, it is the exhibits and featured presentations which excite most people. Rotating art exhibits, lectures, panel discussions, and hands on projects usually dot the calendar of events each month. Discussions and lectures may focus on general or specific topics and are open to all although when space is limited members do move to the head of the line. Likewise art exhibits may feature local talent or a person of national or even international acclaim. Whatever your flavor is, the GLBTHS is sure to have something to suit your taste.

Getting involved in other ways is always easy. Internships for undergraduate and graduate students are available. Volunteers are always needed for a variety of roles within the GLBTHS. In a likewise manner those who have or can obtain new and/or unique material to add to the archives are always in demand. If however you choose to become a member and be more patron than active participant seven types of membership are available ranging from $15 to $1,000 so any budget can be accommodated. For anyone that wishes to join or donate materials all the necessary information is available via their website.

While one may not live in San Francisco or even visit regularly, for any person, not just LGBT person, but any person concerned with protecting history and educating and empowering the global community, the GLBTHS is a vital provider of just that. There is really no gay history or straight history but rather just history. What impacts one of us impacts all of us. As such the GLBTHS has taken up the banner of insuring that the history surrounding LGBT people and the role they have played in the world will be remembered and learned from by future generations.

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