Hormel Center Collections

The James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials on all aspects of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and ally experience. While national and international in scope, the primary focus of the collection is Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of the collection is in English.

LGBTQIA materials are located throughout the Main Library and Branches; however, Hormel Center collections are concentrated in the Hormel Center on the 3rd floor, with archival materials in the San Francisco History Center on the 6th floor.

The Center actively collects materials in a variety of formats, briefly described in the sections below.


LGBTQIA books for both in-library use and borrowing can be found by searching the Library's online catalog.

Highlights within the book collection include:

Magazines, Journals, and Zines

LGBTQIA-related periodicals and serials can be found by searching the Library's online catalog. They are for in-house use in a variety of locations throughout the Main Library:

Indexes are a useful way to search for LGBTQIA-related content across titles, by topic. These multi-volume paper indexes are on the 3rd floor in General Collections:

Digital magazines and articles are accessible either on library computers or remotely with your own device and library card. Good sources for LGBTQIA-related content include the following:

Audiovisual Materials

LGBTQIA-related audiovisual materials can be found by searching the Library's online catalog. Most DVDs, VHS, and other viewing-copy formats of the Hormel Center audiovisual collections are available for in-library viewing at the San Francisco History Center, on the Main Library's 6th floor. Some titles are also available in the Library's circulating collections.

The film and video collection includes:

  • Documentaries

  • Feature films

  • Shorts

  • Television programs

  • Frameline archives

Special emphasis is placed on films distributed by Frameline, as well as the works of Bay Area film makers. This growing collection also includes audiobooks (often read by the author) and comedy and musical recordings by historical and contemporary artists.

Streaming LGBTQIA-related videos are available to SFPL Library cardholders via Kanopy Movies.


The Center collects unpublished materials such as personal papers, organizational records, flyers and other important documents chronicling the history of the LGBTQIA communities in Northern California. Find out more about LGBTQIA Archives.


View digitized photographs, manuscripts, documents and other primary source materials from the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center on the SF Digital Collections. Access print and analog collections in the physical archives at the San Francisco History Center, Main Library.