Lambda Archives of San Diego hold well over 40,000 historical photographs. While the photos are primarily from the 1970’s and later, some document the early LGBT history of San Diego, dating as early as the 1920’s. The photo collection includes images of important local LGBT events, organizations, and individuals creating a vast visual record of our city’s rich LGBT history.

Scanning of photographs is of the utmost importance, as even with the best of care, they will lose color and the quality of the image will degrade over time. Properly creating a digital copy of these images preserve in perpetuity this visually rich record of San Diego’s LGBT history. A digital copy also allows students and researchers to view the images without fear of damage to the original or risking gradual degradation due to exposure.

Thanks to a generous grant from The California Institute for Contemporary Arts.

LASD has made tremendous progress in modernizing our internal cataloguing process with state of the art digitization tools. The work that we have done in the last year has laid the groundwork for a comprehensive modernization project which is both a realization of the LASD vision, as well as a key element to building community awareness and prominence, which will help sustain the archives for years to come.

In 2011, LASD undertook the complete renovation and move to a new greatly expanded space with collections storage up to the highest archival standards. We have moved the entire photograph collection to the new location and placed it in a special, new, archivally safe environment which is climate controlled at low temperatures for increased photographic preservation. In the new space for the first time we have been able to set up a dedicated workspace for the aforementioned digitization efforts, which are well underway. The project is progressing well under archivist supervision and several student volunteers.

LASD is utilizing Flickr to provide access to a sampling of the digitized photographs from our collections. We’re adding newly processed photos daily so check back often!

Copyright Notice/Terms of Use

Materials displayed in the Lambda Archives of San Diego Photo Galleries may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code). Under the law, photocopies or reproductions produced by libraries and archives are not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” Any reproduction of items beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of LASD and/or the copyright owners.

Images displayed on the LASD Flickr are low-resolution copies provided for academic research purposes only. LASD allows authorized publication of images from its collections for most non-commercial uses, however permission from LASD is required prior to publication or display.

Photo credit should read:

“Photo courtesy of Lambda Archives of San Diego.” Photographic Use Fees may apply. Permission from Lambda Archives of San Diego is required for any use of images. To obtain permission, please contact LASD Photographic Archivist.

LASD has endeavored to properly identify copyright owners, but there are some images in its collections about which little is known. All responsibility for possible infringement of copyright or other rights is assumed by the user. LASD asks any copyright owners who are not properly identified to contact the LASD Photographic Archivist so that appropriate credit may be given and permissions observed in the future.

Browse Photos

LASD is utilizing Flickr to provide access to a sampling of the digitized photographs from our collections. We’re adding newly processed photos daily so check back often!

Dates and names* of people in the photographs have been provided where possible, but often this information is not available in the original records. Similarly, we are rarely able to identify the photographer. If you have any information about any of the photos please let us know by commenting on the photo or messaging us directly. If you have a favorite topic or collection you would like to see up on our flickr page drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do.

*If you are identified in a photograph incorrectly, or do not wish to have your name referenced, let us know and we will immediately remove the citation.

Flickr Archive

Lambda Archives Historical Photos