News From The GLBT Historical Society
& The GLBT History Museum

March 2013    

Out of the Boxes: Historical Society Opens
Archives of Pioneering Historian Allan Bérubé  
Display of materials from the Allan Bérubé papers.
Materials from the papers of Allan Bérubé were displayed at The GLBT History
Museum in July 2011. At right is a news clipping with a photograph of Bérubé. 

The GLBT Historical Society has opened the papers of independent scholar and MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient Allan Bérubé for use by researchers. A San Francisco resident for two decades before moving to New York in 1996, Bérubé was one of the pioneers in the field of community-based gay history that emerged in the 1970s and early 1980s. His 1990 book Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II was widely praised; he also worked on the history of gay men's urban sexual territories, the connections between social class and homosexuality, and the role of race and sexuality in labor history.

"We were honored when the Bérubé estate decided to donate his papers," says Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. "Allan was one of our founding members, he had already given significant materials to our collection, he had even sublet office space from the society in our early years -- so we had a deep feeling that we were symbolically welcoming him home."

Housed at the society's archives in San Francisco, the Bérubé papers are now  arranged and preserved, with an extensive finding aid offering an overview of the more than 150 boxes in the collection. The materials include files reflecting Bérubé's work as an author, historian, teacher and activist, along with personal papers ranging from family history to creative writing. Of particular note are Bérubé's writings and research files on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, the subject of an unfinished book he had set aside, then returned to writing shortly before his unexpected death in 2007.

Boneberg notes that the opening of the Bérubé archives "demonstrates our commitment to donors to keep their papers both safe and accessible." He adds that the Bérubé records also show the importance of placing queer collections in a community institution: "Even before making the materials available to researchers, we mounted a display in Allan's memory and sponsored a very well-attended event at The GLBT History Museum to mark the posthumous publication of his book My Desire for History. We are always looking for those kinds of opportunities to spark meaningful dialog between our collections and the wider community."

To download the finding aid for the Bérubé papers, click here. For related collections, enter "Bérubé" under "Archival Collections" and "Oral Histories" in the "Search the Collections" section of the GLBT Historical Society website


When Once a Month Just Isn't Enough:
Queer History News Via Social Media  
Facebook Supporters of the GLBT Historical Society and The GLBT History Museum get History Happens at the start of every month -- but when it comes to queer history news, who's willing to settle for just once a month? The society also posts a cornucopia of updates on its Facebook page: photos of exhibitions and programs, astonishing finds from the archives, links to worldwide media coverage, clips from historic queer films and videos. Nearly 9,000 people have already liked the page  -- and the institution is hoping to click past 10,000 before the end of 2013. 

The society's Facebook friends regularly join the online conversation -- but many who have already liked the page are missing out on the fun, notes Historical Society media consultant Gerard Koskovich. "Facebook changed the way it distributes status updates near the end of last year -- and as a result, lots of our friends aren't seeing our posts," he explains. "But there's an easy way to make sure the GLBT Historical Society shows up in your news feed: Just go to our Facebook page, click on 'Like,' then select 'Get Notifications' from the pop-up menu. You'll never miss another update, and you'll be sure to have a chance to like and comment on what we post -- and to share it with your friends, too!"

To like the GLBT Historical Society -- or to add "Get Notifications" to your like -- visit the society's Facebook page


Museum Programs to Feature Queer
Fiction, Biography of a Gay Activist 

Author Reading  

GuyWriters Presents 'Novel Discussions':
Andrew Demcak, Vincent Meis, Rob Rosen 
Wednesday, March 13  
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

Three local gay novelists come together to present their work: Andrew Demcak (If Cartoon of man wearing glasses. There is a Heaven Above); Vincent Meis (Tio Jorge and Eddie's Desert Rose); and Rob Rosen (Queerwolf and Southern Fried). The authors will read from their latest books and take part in a discussion with the audience about the writing process, where they find the ideas behind their fiction and how they go from inspiration to words on the page. In addition, they'll answer questions about publishing and the best strategies for writers to use in getting their work out to the public. The event is presented by GuyWriters, a Bay Area community network that celebrates and supports gay men's literary creativity. Admission: $5.00; free for members.

History Talk  

The Life & Times of Tede Matthews, Poet & Revolutionary 
Thursday, April 4 
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Historian Greg Youmans presents the life and times of Tede Mathews, a poet and Head shot of Tede Matthews. activist who lived in San Francisco from the mid-1970s until his death from AIDS in 1993. A star of the groundbreaking 1977 documentary Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Mathews was a performer with the gender-bending theatrical troupe Angels of Light. He also was a member of the Modern Times Bookstore Collective; a founder of the queer antiwar group LAGAI; and an activist who worked in solidarity with liberation struggles in Vietnam, Chile and Nicaragua. Illustrated with video clips, the talk will explore how Mathews's biography complicates standard accounts of recent queer history. Admission: $5.00; free for members.



The GLBT History Museum

Location: 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114

Phone: 415-621-1107

Website: www.glbthistorymuseum.org  


Admission: $5.00 general; $3.00 with California student ID. Free for members. Free for all visitors on the first Wednesday of each month (courtesy of the Bob Ross Foundation). 


Winter Hours

Mondays & Wednesdays - Saturdays: 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.   

Tuesdays: Closed 

Sundays: Noon - 5:00 p.m.




GLBT Historical Society

Location: 657 Mission St., Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105

Phone: 415-777-5455, ext. 3#

Website: www.glbthistory.org  


Research Hours (by appointment)

Members: Wednesdays - Fridays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Nonmembers: Fridays: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

                        First & Third Saturdays: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   







Donate Here



March 13 

7 - 9 p.m.

Author Reading


April 4 

7 - 9 p.m. 

History Talk 

Get Connected
Click on the event title for
the Facebook invitation.


Two African American women in 19th-century garb.


March 7 - 24

Theatre Rinoceros:

A Lady and a Woman

 Eureka Theatre 

215 Jackson St.

San Francisco


A Lady and a Woman

tells the story of two

African-American women

 in the 19th century who  

find the courage to begin  

a new life together in a  small Southern town.

A discussion with the  

author, Shirlene Holmes, follows the March 8 performance, and a panel with the actors and writers Jewelle Gomez and Brian  Freeman follows the

March 17 performance.


GLBT Historical Society supporters receive $5 off tickets (discount code: law2013).


Buy Tickets Here



 The GLBT History  

Museum displays a  

wealth of material  

from San Francisco's 

vast queer past.


A group of people at a 1960s house party.


"Legendary: African American GLBT Past  

Meets Present," currently  

on show in the Corner Gallery, includes this snapshot of Thelma Davis (standing) at a San Francisco lesbian house party from circa 1968.  

The exhibit runs through  

the end of May. 



 The GLBT Historical

Society is home to one 

of the world's largest 

gay, lesbian, bisexual 

and transgender 

archival collections.


Movie marquee for a showing of

The Film and Video Collection includes some 1,000 hours of moving picture images from the 1930s to the present.
Above, a shot from
"Invisible Minority," a
1971 film strip produced
by the Unitarian
Universalist Church.
(To watch the film strip,
click on the photo



For in-depth 

information on the 

GLBT Historical Society 

and The GLBT History Museum, visit 

our website.


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For updates on the

museum and archives, follow us on Facebook.   


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 For an overview of 

the goals and history of 

the museum and 

archives, see our entry 

on Wikipedia.


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For an array of videos

 from our archives

and programs, see

our YouTube channel.


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For a look at what we're discovering in our

archival collections,

read our archives blog:

HIdden From History. 







Copyright © 2013

GLBT Historical Society