“The Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project will create a sustainable non-profit, community-run archival institution to preserve lesbian history in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. By gathering and preserving historical material, the archives will maintain lesbian visibility, become a living history, and continue the tradition of community building.” - BALHAP website
The Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project is an ongoing project to archive Bay Area lesbian and queer women’s history. It was founded by Lenn Keller, who has been archiving the Bay area lesbian community since 1975, with a special focus on lesbians of color. The project is still in the collecting stage of the archival process. Lesbian histories are under-represented in local archives, and are in danger of being lost to the public. This is an archive that is necessary for the preservation of queer women’s history. It is also a necessary effort to build community for queer women in Oakland and the greater bay area.
This pin is located at the site of a former lesbian bar in North Oakland. There are no longer any community spaces centered around queer women in Oakland. Ollie’s was “the last great Lesbian bar in Oakland.” It closed in 1986. It was an important hub in the Oakland lesbian community, offering music, and drag shows. While the Bay Area Lesbian History Archives Project is currently located in the digital, there are current efforts to fundraise for a local facility to preserve and process archives of lesbian activist, cultural, and community history of the Bay Area.