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Containing over 2 million historical items, ONE National Archives is one of the largest repositories of LGBTQ+ historical materials in the world. The archival collection includes a wide variety of photographs, film, books, art, clothing, and other items. Members of the prominent early gay rights activist group the Mattachine Society established ONE Inc. in 1952, making it the oldest LGBTQ organization still in existence today. In 1994, ONE Inc. merged with gay journalist Jim Kepner's International Gay and Lesbian Archives and has been housed by the University of Southern California Libraries since 2010. ONE also operates an exhibition gallery for archive materials and LGBTQ+ art in West Hollywood.

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives main library

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives main library

Joseph Hawkins, director of ONE Archives, stands by the Archives' wall of past issues from ONE Magazine

Collection, Art

One of the many items stored at ONE Archives- 'Bug in the Ear' an at-home electroshock machine used on LGBTQ people during the 1970's.

Electronics, Technology, Electronic device, Machine

Study area at ONE Archives

Public library, Library, Bookselling, Building

ONE Archives Office in 1972

Shelving, Bookcase, Shelf, Library

Opening of ONE Institute & Archives (2001)

Property, Home, Real estate, Residential area

In October of 1952, two years after the formation of Harry Hays' historic gay rights organization The Mattachine Society, the concept of a magazine focused on homosexual issues was first brought up during a meeting at Hays' residence. The next month, ONE Inc. was founded and by January of the following year, the first issue of ONE Magazine was published, making it the first LGBTQ magazine available in the United States. The publication also became the first gay organization to inhabit a public office space in Downtown Los Angeles, where copies were sold on street corners for 25 cents. In August of 1953, Los Angeles port authorities confiscated a shipment of the ONE Magazine August edition, which had the title "Homosexual Marriage?" on the cover. After protest from Mattachine Society members, however, the magazines were quietly released by the port authorities three weeks later.

In 1956, the ONE Institute for Homophile Studies was established as an academic branch of ONE Inc. During this period of the 1950's, the ONE office became an impromptu library for LGBTQ materials. Mattachine Society member and gay journalist Jim Kepner was heavily involved in contributing to this collection. After publication of ONE Magazine ceased in 1967, Kepner and others involved with ONE Inc. continued archival work, gathering photographs, films, books, and other documents relevant to the burgeoning gay rights movement of the 1960's and 1970's. In 1979, Jim Kepner's personal collection was moved to a new location in Hollywood and renamed the National Gay Archives. Two years later, the ONE Institute became the first institution in the United States to offer degrees in the field of Homophile Studies. By 1984, the National Gay Archives had expanded its collection substantially and was renamed the International Gay & Lesbian Archives, also known as IGLA. Ten years later, IGLA would merge with ONE Institute with the purpose of creating a consolidated LGBTQ+ archival collection.

The University of Southern California began providing the 909 W. Adams Boulevard library space to ONE Institute/IGLA in 2000. Four years later, the organization adopted its current name: One National Gay & Lesbian Archives. The Archives would later become a branch of the University of California's Libraries on October 26, 2010.

Today, the Archives' collection includes over 2 million items ranging from photographs, documents, memorabilia, films, recordings, art, clothing, and other materials. ONE Archives' collection of audio tapes recorded by former San Francisco City Supervisor and gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk was used for the filming of the Academy Award-winning 2008 biopic "Milk". In 2008, ONE opened a gallery space in West Hollywood called the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum. The exhibition space hosts traveling exhibits and art shows centered on LGBTQ+ history and the modern queer experience. It is also used to present various historical materials and artifacts from the Archives' collection.

ONE Archives Foundation. History, ONE Archives Foundation. Accessed November 24th 2020.

ONE Archives. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives Research Collection Finds Permanent Home at the University of Southern California Libraries , University of Southern California. October 26th 2010. Accessed November 24th 2020.

ONE Inc. ONE Incorporated Records, Online Archive of California. Accessed November 25th 2020.

QUEER VOICES EDITORS. ONE National Gay And Lesbian Archives Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Huffington Post. October 4th 2012. Accessed November 24th 2020.

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