Out of the Archives

‘Out on the Left Coast’

Posted: January 5th, 2018 | Columns, News, Out of the Archives, Top Story | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

Lambda Archives’ history of San Diego Pride was recently digitized by San Diego State University, under the direction of Anna Culbertson, assistant head of special collections and university archives, and Lisa Lamont, digital collections librarian. Those resources are now available to researchers and the general public on a new website,, which was unveiled on Dec. 6 with a reception in Love Library on campus.

Read More

Remembering Mel

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Walter Meyer | Out of the Archives

I told many people, including Mel Merrill himself, that I wanted to download Mel’s brain. He knew so much about so much. He was a nuclear engineer in his working life, but he also knew about music, food, and literature, in addition to science. For many of us in San Diego’s LGBTQ community, he was a walking archive.

Read More

Tracing San Diego’s queer history

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

On a bright December day in 1970, 60 or so San Diegans gathered in Presidio Park with balloons, face paint, and guitars to take part in a monumental picnic. Despite homophobia and hostility toward gays prevailing as a mainstream position of society at that time, these folks came together to publicly express and celebrate their sexuality. The crowd danced, sang, played games, and displayed posters asserting their right to be out and proud. In the spirit of civil rights activism, the event was declared a “Gay-In.”

Read More

30 years of marching for equality

By Lambda Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

As we prepare for the Equality March this Sunday, June 11, we’d like to take a look back on the LGBTQ community’s legacy of protesting, marching and stepping up for our rights. Specifically, one of the precursors to this weekend’s Equality March: the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

Read More

Remembering Orlando

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

June 12, 2016 is a date that will be burned forever into the collective memory of our community. In the early morning hours of that day, 49 of our siblings were senselessly murdered in a horrific act of hate at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Our community was shaken to its core; in the midst of nearing Pride celebrations, we were reminded that violence can and does sometimes enter our sacred spaces.

The global reaction of support was swift and overwhelming. Vigils quickly grew in major cities across the world, with allies condemning the act and honoring those who were lost. News sources focused on remembering the victims, telling their stories, and saying their names.

Read More

Dipping into our collections

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Lambda Archives Staff | Out of the Archives In a change from our usual reporting on events at Lambda Archives, we are going to mix things up to highlight some of our collections this time. We’ve chosen to highlight a collection that was processed very recently by a volunteer, Caro Vera, who also provided this report on the collection. The Archives is grateful for volunteers including Caro, who make all of what we do possible.

Read More

Events far and near

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives While our mission is to preserve local LGBT history, sometimes we get to “play on the big stage.” We were recently honored to fulfill a request from our friends Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina of TransNarratives to provide a tour and meeting space to a group of transgender activists from India. The lively discussion was video recorded so others can learn from the conversation. You can access it […]

Read More

A night with Jim Obergefell

Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Columns, Out of the Archives, Top Story | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

A large and enthusiastic crowd turned out on Sept. 15 to hear Jim Obergefell — lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that resulted in nationwide same-sex marriage — talk about his journey from being a “checkbook activist” to being center stage in the fight for equality.

The audience laughed and cried as local attorney Matt Stephens interviewed Obergefell about how he promised his late husband that he would continue to fight to have their marriage recognized. Obergefell met attendees before and after the discussion and signed copies of his new book, “Love Wins.”

Read More

Donations and recent happenings

Posted: September 2nd, 2016 | Columns, Out of the Archives, Top Story | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

We are proud and happy to have contributed to the city of San Diego’s LGBTQ Context Statement. To read the preliminary report, visit If you see anything lacking or incorrect in the statement, please reach out to Kelley Stanco, the city’s senior planner/HRB liaison, at 619-236-6545 or

Read More

Pride, presentations and outreach

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | 1 Comment

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives This year, Pride was especially meaningful: poignant in many ways, yet joyful. We were honored by San Diego Pride when Jen LaBarbera, our head archivist, was asked to give the opening speech at the Spirit of Stonewall rally, Friday night. Jen delivered a very brief history of Pride and its origins, starting with the riots led by drag queens Marcia P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Both of these […]

Read More

The history of LGBT tragedy

Posted: June 24th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives The philosopher George Santayana is often paraphrased to the effect that “those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.” The tragedy in Orlando was unprecedented, but not without roots. As an LGBTQ institution, we would be remiss if we did not comment on the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We at Lambda Archives grieve along with the rest of the LGBTQ+ community […]

Read More