June Mazer Lesbian Archives

The Archives, originally called the West Coast Lesbian Collections, was founded in Oakland California, in 1981. Six years later it was moved to Los Angeles by Connexxus Women’s Center/Centro de Mujeres. The Archives acquired its present name after the death of June Mazer, in honor of her work as a community activist and invaluable supporter of the Archives.

The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives remains the only archive on this side of the continent that is dedicated exclusively to preserving lesbian history and to guaranteeing that those who come after us will not have to believe that they “walk alone.” The Archives is committed to gathering and preserving materials by and about lesbians and feminists of all classes, ethnicities, races and experiences. Included are personal letters and scrapbooks, artwork, manuscripts, books, records, newspapers, magazines, photographs, videotapes, flyers, papers of lesbian and feminist organizations, private papers, and even clothing, such as softball uniforms from the 1940s and 50s.

Hundreds of lesbians and feminists have been inspired to donate artifacts of their personal and collective histories. The Archives encourages all lesbians to deposit the everyday mementos of your lives so that others can discover them in the future. The privacy of any donor is protected to whatever extent she desires.

In 1989, the archives earned 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and received donated space from the city of West Hollywood, where it remains today. The mission of the Mazer Archives is to collect, preserve and make accessible lesbian, feminist and women’s queer history as a means of providing a link among all generations of lesbians; to develop social activities, educational events, opportunities and programs that promote historical awareness; and to provide research and resource facilities.

The all-volunteer staff of the Mazer Archives not only keeps the doors open, but also helps to make lesbian communities and others aware of our history through speaking engagements, the Archives’ newsletter, In The Life, (no longer in publication), and special programs and exhibits.

WITNESS: See It, Film It, Change It

WITNESS identifies critical situations and teach those affected by them the basics of video production, safe and ethical filming techniques, and advocacy strategies, making it possible for anyone, anywhere to use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. Includes guides for activists to archive their work and training materials for activists working in the field.

DLF Organizer’s Toolkit

The Digital Library Federation’s Organizer’s Toolkit is a wiki-site with general organizing strategies and procedures for establishing and promoting a working group, as well as information about how to start a new initiative or group within the DLF. The Organizer’s Toolkit builds upon the DLF’s commitment to building effective communities of practice.

Digital Library Federation. 2016. “DLF Organizers’ Toolkit.” DLF Wiki. 2018 2016. https://wiki.diglib.org/About_DLF_and_the_Organizers%27_Toolkit.

The Prelinger Library

The Prelinger Library is a public library in San Francisco, CA. The library is primarily a collection of 19th and 20th century historical ephemera, periodicals, maps, and books, most published in the United States. Much of the collection is image-rich, and in the public domain. The library uses a geospatial taxonomy that “classifies subjects spatially and conceptually beginning with the physical world, moving into representation and culture, and ending with abstractions of society and theory. ” The collection includes published books, ephemera and zines, as well as oversize and standalone collections. The library also support research and artist residencies, and hosts an open-access digital collection of selected books.


Foxfire Magazine  developed out of a high school English course at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Northeast Georgia’s Appalachian mountains in the late 1960s, and is an example of a long-term community-driven history and archive. The students and teacher chose to create a magazine, honing their writing skills on stories gathered from their families and neighbors, and producing articles about the pioneer era of southern Appalachia as well as living traditions still thriving in the region. This project has led to multiple books and publications, as well as the development of a museum and cultural center devoted to supporting and making accessible the history of the region as documented by students.

Honoring the Dead: A Digital Archive of the Insane Indian Asylum

Honoring the Dead: A Digital Archive of the Insane Indian Asylum provides access to digitized documents related to the Asylum for Insane Indians located in Canton, South Dakota from 1903 to 1934, bringing together for the first time government documents, letters, and reports widely dispersed throughout national, regional, and state archives.

This project is currently working to digitize materials from the State Archives of the South Dakota State Historical Society. We are excited to also have a case study written on this project by English faculty Stacey Berry (Dakota State University.)