Preserving LGBTQ Historical Highlights Grant Project

Three people in drag

In 2019, the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center received a grant from the California State Library to digitize physically at-risk materials from five different collections in the Hormel and San Francisco History Center archives. The selected materials contain personal photographs, news clippings, photographic negatives, typescripts, handwritten texts, and an audiocassette recording. Through digitization, San Francisco Public Library highlights these histories and provides wider public access to materials that exemplify how queer San Franciscans helped shape the city. 

Visit the project collection on SFPL's Digital Collections website at Below, you'll find brief descriptions and links to digitized items from each of the five archival collections represented.

Bradley's Bar thumb

Bradley's Corner Bar Photographs

A collection of color prints from the 1960s through the 1980s documenting the Cole Valley gay bar.

Grace Miller thumb

Grace Miller Scrapbook

Local lesbian bar owner's compilation of newspaper clippings documenting the 1954 police raid on Tommy's Place and Miller's and co-owner Joyce van der Veer's subsequent arrest and trial.

Cassette tape thumb

Harvey Milk’s “Political Will” [audio recording given to John Wahl]

One of the three tapes recorded on November 18, 1977 by Harvey Milk, discussing who would best continue his political work should he be assassinated.

Document thumb

Harvey Milk Speeches and Writings

Typescripts and handwritten notes of Milk's major speeches.

San Francisco Police Department Bureau of Special Services Negatives

San Francisco Police Department Bureau of Special Services Negatives

Digitized negatives from BSS vice cases during the period of 1945-1969 involving adult bookstores, an art gallery, theaters, and other businesses with queer content and/or patronage.

Lee Raymond thumb

Lee Raymond Photograph Albums

Drag performer and Empress of the Imperial Court's personal photographs from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Thank you to our funder, California State Library, and to our digitization vendor, Two Cat Digital, for their support and services.

Photo credit (top): Detail from SFP95-036, Harold (Bill) Giddings Bradley’s Corner Bar Photograph Collection, San Francisco History Center.

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