Welcome to this digital exhibit showcasing materials from the Monterey County LGBTQ History Collection housed in Archives and Special Collections at the Tanimura and Antle Family Memorial Library at California State University Monterey Bay. It draws on the collection’s holdings, some of which has been digitized, including personal papers, periodicals, newsletters, flyers, posters, photographs and oral histories documenting late 20th century LGBTQ+ history, primarily of Monterey County.

Gay Pride 1995, Cover of The Paper, June/July 1995

One goal of this exhibit is to showcase a selection of materials that students, researchers, and interested community members can use to learn more about local LGBTQ+ histories. It includes several sections exploring various issues of concern to the LGBTQ community, political organizing, community institutions, social life, and cultural expression. The hope is that the exhibit sheds some light on late 20th century LGBTQ+ histories from a local perspective.

A second goal of this exhibit is to provide resources for K-12 teachers and college professors seeking to enhance their instructional materials. Each section provides a short summary describing how the collection illuminates a particular theme, including a few examples, and includes a selection of downloadable materials drawn from the collection--digitized and contextualized for use in the classroom or for student projects.

It should be clear from the outset that this exhibit merely scratches the surface of the holdings within the Monterey County LGBTQ History Collection as well as the complex and rich histories of LGBTQ people and communities in Monterey County. It nevertheless offers visitors a starting place--and a taste--of the collection and its value for documenting what has been an underrecognized and sometimes hidden history.


This project began in 2015 with a community event, sponsored by Rainbow Speakers and Friends, to explore the possibilities of a local LGBTQ+ history project. This event led to the first donations of materials which became the early heart of this collection. Initial work on the exhibit began with a group of CSUMB students in an LGBTQ history course offered by the Department of Humanities and Communication in Spring 2019 under the direction of Professor David A. Reichard. From this critical starting point, additional student researchers have contributed to developing the exhibit through two summer research projects supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center (UROC) at CSUMB. Thank you to all the students and community members who contributed to the collection--and this exhibit--from its early inception.

Special thanks to Robin Guthrie and John Brady from the CSU Monterey Bay library, through Archives and Special Collections, who supported this project from the beginning. The exhibit was curated by David A. Reichard, Professor Emerit, Department of Humanities and Communication and UROC student researchers Nikole Babcock and Meg Dearie. Students in HCOM 359: Sexuality, Law and History did much of the original research for several of these sections, which have been edited for content and clarity. Oral histories have been collected by students under the guidance of faculty member Kristen LaFollette.

Image source: The Paper, Volume 2, Number 1, June-July 1995, Monterey County LGBTQ History Collection. California State University, Monterey Bay Archives and Special Collections, https://digitalcommons.csumb.edu/thepaper/7/.

LGBTQ Communities and the Military
Ballot Measures and Same-Sex Marriage
Law and Justice
HIV/AIDS Through a Local Lens
Engaging Politics
Bars and Clubs
Social Spaces
Women's Music
Pride Celebrations
Oral Histories