FRANCISCO ROSAS: Thank you, Terry, for chatting with us for Pride Month. It has been a very thrilling one for the GLBT Historical Society. Can you share some of what the Society has been up to and the details of your reopening?
TERRY BESWICK: Like other cultural institutions, we are, of course, so thrilled that we have been able to reopen after so many months of being closed, but for us it is especially sweet that our archives and museum were able to reopen to the public in time for Pride month. Our archives and special collections are among the largest collections of queer historical materials anywhere in the world and are typically visited by researchers, academics, and artists, but our small museum in the Castro neighborhood typically gets a couple thousand visitors every month, and even more in the summertime, which is a lot for about 1,600 square feet of exhibit space.
We were fortunate that we did not have to lay off any staff during the pandemic, and our small museum staff was quite adept at shifting our previous exhibitions and public programs online, to create some new online exhibitions as well. Similarly, while we were not able to accession or process any new collections, our archival staff were able to take previously digitized materials and create research guides and primary source sets that highlighted the broad diversity of our collections. These were things we were already working on, albeit slowly, but being shut out of our workspaces definitely accelerated the creation of online resources, and will continue to be a key part of our work.