Bay Area Lesbian Archives is committed to preserving your collection and making it accessible to the public. 

When you are ready to donate your own or someone else’s stuff, please contact us to make arrangements. There are a few things we will ask you: (1) if this is an emergency situation; (2) what kinds of materials you have; and (3) how much material (number and size of boxes or containers).


We will need you to complete and sign a Deed of Gift, which is a contract giving BALA legal ownership of the materials, and stipulating any limitations of their use.


The Deed of Gift should accompany the donation and should include a rough inventory of what you’re donating (for example:. 5 t-shirts, 6 photo albums, 20 flyers).

There are ways to ensure that your stuff will come to us and be preserved. You can put your wishes in your will, and or you can write a Directive giving instructions to someone else stipulating which things you want donated to BALA.


We want your memorabilia and keepsakes, things such as diaries and journals, photographs, records from lesbian organizations (minutes, agendas, files), audio and video cassettes, event programs, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, event flyers, t-shirts, buttons, correspondence and more.


Check What We’re Collecting for a complete list.

Your memorabilia is more important than you may realize. It documents the details of your life – what you did with your time, where you hung out, what you did to make money, who you hung out and lived with, what you wore, what you listened and danced to, and what you read or created. Your memorabilia tells a rich story of how you lived as a lesbian in the Bay Area. Your story is an integral part of the Bay Area’s collective lesbian and LGBTQ history.


BALA currently has limited storage space. For the time being, we can only accept those donations that we consider “emergency situations,” those collections most at risk of being lost due to death, illness, relocation, or destroyed because of how the materials are stored (for example, in a garage or basement).


We accept donations based on the following criteria: content; condition; vintage and size (we prefer original material). Our focus for the next five years is on collecting materials that document the lives of lesbians who have lived in the Bay Area through the 1980s, as these are the materials most at risk. We will make exceptions and accept donations from more current decades reflecting the lives of lesbian seniors, lesbians with disabilities and lesbians of color. Please contact us to discuss the materials you would like to donate.


Friends, family and allies have always been an integral part of lesbian community. Unless clearly stated, no assumptions should be made about the past or present sexual orientation, or gender identity of persons depicted on this website.

Any images, graphics, text, audio or video may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. Be aware that entities other than the Bay Area Lesbian Archives may own the copyright to the material. Materials from the website can be used for educational or non-profit purposes only. Any copies printed or otherwise displayed must have a copyright notice included. Except as provided above, you may not post, re-publish, reproduce, transmit or distribute any material from this website in any digital or physical form without the permission of the copyright owner. For more information, please contact the Bay Area Lesbian Archives.

© 2018  Bay Area Lesbian Archives                BALA Inc., PO Box 3494, Oakland, CA 94609                   415-789-8537                 balezarchives@gmail.com



Selene Michaels