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GLBT History Museum

Address: 4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94105 (The Castro)
Phone Number: 415 621 1107
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Ranked #180 of 717 things to do in San Francisco
Type: Specialty museums, History museums, Museums
Owner description: Located in San Francisco's Castro District, the GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Specialty museums, History museums, Museums
Owner description: Located in San Francisco's Castro District, the GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender history and culture in the United States — and only the second in the world. At 1,600 square feet (150 square meters), the museum is fairly small, but it packs a punch, celebrating 100 years of San Francisco’s vast queer past through dynamic and surprising exhibitions and programming. Open since January 2011, the museum is a project of the GLBT Historical Society, a San Francisco institution founded in 1985 that houses one of the world’s largest collections of GLBT archival materials.

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26 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
La Grange, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2014

The museum is small, but it's important to support the efforts to record the history of the LGBT community in San Francisco. It's in a lovely neighborhood of shops and cafes.

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Benicia, CA
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
42 attraction reviews
181 helpful votes 181 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2014

This tiny museum tells unique stories about the struggle for gay rights. If you really want to experience the real San Francisco, do not miss this wonderful museum. Try to plan ahead so that you can get a tour along with your visit. I took a tour and it made may visit ten times better! I learned solo much! My... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

The first LGBT history museum in the country. Even though it's a small museum it's important to stop here and learn about the struggle for equality that started long ago. The entrance fee is only $5 so we were happy to pay it to support the museum. It was great to see the Harvey Milk items along with all the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rochester MN
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
20 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2014

If you're in the Castro, stop and visit this small but informative museum. Just $5 admission and the news coverage, historical perspective, video stories are all excellent. What those who have gone before have done for us!! Wonderful tribute to Harvey Milk -- be sure to listen to his message, taped before his assassination b/o the death threats he had... More 

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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
13 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

The museum is only one room, but is packed with information. Very interesting and important. $5 to enter without discount, but worth it as it goes to such an important cause. Staff were very friendly, and room is kept nicely, peaceful and clean.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014 via mobile

I was really looking forward to this as generally the GLBT community is poorly represented historically. Also, I understand the GLBT historical society has a substantial archive. This museum is a good intro to some of the issues and fairly covers most of the key subgroups, but very briefly. I would have liked to see more personal stories (there were... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Oslo
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

The museum is a single room with videos and artifacts lining all the walls, so it is a short visit, but very informative. You get a good feel for San Francisco's and the US's LGBT history. A significant portion is dedicated to Harvey Milk.

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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

After spending the morning exploring the Castro, we enjoying learning about the GLBT history of San Francisco in much greater detail. The exhibits are very text-heavy so there's a lot of reading to each artifact and image. We spent a half hour there but there were other visitors who were much more engrossed in reading everything who probably spent a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
10 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014 via mobile

The GLBT History Museum offers an excellent insight into the history of LGBT communities in San Francisco and in and around The Castro in particular. The exhibition space is small but well curated (on our visit, at least) and the displays are informative and engaging. We spent around an hour reading through everything and I would recommend visitors to the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
15 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014 via mobile

the Castro area is the historical epicentre of the gay civil rights movement, and this small museum captures some of the important early movements, before it was cool and ok to be out and proud. I was very interested in the daughters of bilitis and the beginnings of lesbian activism, as well as the higher profile Harvey Milk information. It... More 

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