Bay Area Lesbian Archives “Preserves a Time When the Bay Area Changed Radically”
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In the 1970s, coalitions of Bay Area women started the first feminist credit unions, domestic violence shelters and holistic health centers. Some of these pioneering women’s stories — and the role they played in shaping the Bay Area’s progressive identity — are household tales. But an equal number of them are stuck in boxes that have yet to be dusted off.
That mission is at the core of the Bay Area Lesbian Archives, a project founded by Lenn Keller, a photographer and filmmaker who moved to Oakland in 1975. As women of her generation grew older, Keller saw that the history of Bay Area lesbians of the 1970s and ’80s was in danger of being lost. In 2014, she and several other women took on the task of saving it.
In December, the Bay Area Lesbian Archives was granted nonprofit status. That put Keller and her fellow archivists, Rebecca Silverstein and Sharon Davenport, in a better position to raise money through grants and other sources. They’ve already begun digitizing their collections, and want the archives to be available online for anyone to use.
Among the items awaiting digitization are a large number of flyers, a medium lesbian activists used to scare up a crowd in the pre-internet days. One, from 1978, promotes an event against Proposition 6, a state initiative that would have banned gays and lesbians from working in California public schools.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.