Scope and arrangement
The collection documents many aspects of the history and culture of gay men and lesbians, including activism, AIDS, erotica, pageants, parties and theatre. The collection includes snapshots, studio prints, movie stills, and slides. The materials date from 1886 to the present. While the majority of the materials are from the 1970s, there are several images from the 1950s.
The collection contains several photographs of historic interest. Such photographs include a group portrait of The Mattachine Society of Los Angeles founders at Christmas in 1951. Other historic photographs include a series of snapshots of the first Christopher Street Liberation Day march in 1970, and one 19th century image of a female impersonator.
A significant portion of the collection are the photographs of Bettye Lane, Fred W. McDarrah, and Richard C. Wandel. Each series includes a significant number of images of gay and lesbian activism and community life.
The International Gay Information Center collection. Photographs are arranged in four series:
The Gay Male Erotica series is the largest group of photographs in the Ephemera collection. This series includes a large selection of male physique photographs from the 1950s and 1960s, which were donated by Paul J. Fasana. Several of these photographs are attributed to Bruce of Los Angeles and Lon of New York. However, the prints do not bear the name of the photographer due to censorship laws that were in effect at the time the prints were made. This series also includes several mail-order photographs from Target Studios, which are probably from the 1970s.