We continue to branch out

Posted: May 13th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

May 13 is the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) awards at The San Diego LGBT Community Center and we’ll have people there with information about the Archives. On May 19, the Archives will have representatives at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. And May 20 at San Diego Pride’s Stonewall Awards at the Lafayette Hotel, we will be doing a display about the many sports groups and figures that have enlivened San Diego’s LGBT scene.

On May 26, we are being honored with the Historic Preservation Diversity Award from the city’s Historical Resources Board. Nominated by Ernie Bonn of the University Heights Community Development Corporation, we appreciate the recognition.

The Archives has also been nominated for the GSDBA’s nonprofit of the year award and we thank them for the nomination. It’s nice to see that the expanded efforts of the Archives board, staff and volunteers are getting noticed.

If you would like to get involved with the Archives, we can always use volunteers at these events and we will also need help for our table at Out at the Fair event at the San Diego County Fair on June 11 and in our booth at the San Diego Pride Festival July 16–17. Join the fun by calling 619-260-1522 or email us your info.

On April 22, a drizzle put a slight damper on turn out for our first official walking tour of the LGBT history of Hillcrest, but those who came had a good time and offered input that will make the next tour even better. The May 22 tour is filling up fast — only a few spaces left.

We are also having a special tour and reception for teachers on June 3 in conjunction with the San Diego Unified School District. If you are a teacher and would like to join us, get in touch.

Our next public historical tour will be June 25.

On April 30, the Archives staff was able to see the culmination of their work with Kate Clark and Parkeology. The Archives provided assistance to record the histories of people who were involved in one way or another with the “Fruit Loop” in Balboa Park. To present this work, Parkeology had cars parked around Marston Point with those recordings playing on their car stereos.

We now have a researcher looking for information about the early days of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in San Diego — especially those who were active in the church in 1972. Of particular interest to this Ph.D. student is information on Atascadero Hospital and the MCC’s involvement there. If you were or know someone who was part of the MCC back then or was held at Atascadero, please let us know.

We are thrilled with the work that volunteer Vanessa Madrid of the San Diego Public Library has done helping us to organize our collections of books and update our catalog to make it easier to find and access our 6,000 or so books.

Our head archivist Jen LaBarbera recently presented a working paper entitled “History in the Making: How Archives and Activists Can Work Together” at the Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium in Vancouver, Canada. Her travel to the event was paid for by a grant from Litwin Books as well as the generous support of some of our board members. Jen is already hearing from some of the people she met at the conference and is looking forward to growing our network.

We are now gearing up for a few other big-name events this year — still trying to make the Archives as dynamic as our static storage of the LGBT history. Get on our emailing list or start following us on Facebook ( so you don’t miss out!

—Lambda Archives, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to collecting, preserving and teaching the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in San Diego and the Northern Baja California region, is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. To learn more, stop in or visit their website at

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