Our Mission

Stonewall National Museum & Archives promotes understanding through preserving and sharing the proud culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their significant role in American society.

State of Stonewall 2016

Our History

Stonewall Library is created by Mark Silber

Silber, a student at Florida Atlantic University, travels widely and collects as many books as possible, storing them at the family home in Hollywood, Florida. The name “Stonewall” is chosen to honor the significance of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City in the early years of the modern gay movement.

Silber moves to New York

His collection having grown too large to move, Silber organizes his friends into a corporation, which would grant borrowing privileges to members and conduct regular meetings. The collection is moved to the Metropolitan Community Church, which provides the collection a permanent home.

The Stonewall Library opens to the public

The collection grows and merges with the Southern Gay Archives

Joel Starkey had been collecting periodicals, correspondence, and other materials he called “The Southern Gay Archives." When Starkey becomes ill and offers his collection to the library, the corporation reorganizes as Stonewall Library & Archives, Inc.

501(c)(3) status

The IRS grants the newly combined Library and Archives 501(c)(3) status, making all contributions tax deductible.

Stonewall rents a space and starts growing

Stonewall rents a space from the Gay and Lesbian Community in Ft. Lauderdale and grows, not only in numbers of books and archives, but also in accessibility and diversity of programming.

New Location

In May of 2000, Stonewall moves to 1717 North Andrews Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale as a tenant of the GLCCSF. The entire collection, including the archives, is housed under one roof for the first time. Patrons also enjoy the new John C. Graves reading room, where they can peruse national LGBT periodicals and hold meetings and discussion groups. Historians can pursue research in new organized archives.

History exhibitions shown at the Broward Main Library

Stonewall begins an annual series of groundbreaking history exhibitions, including “The Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals – 1933-1945," “Pride: Party of Protest," “Days without Sunshine: Anita Bryant’s Anti-Gay Crusade," “Out of the Shadows: Gay American from Kinsey to Stonewall” and “Stonewall: The Ending of the Beginning of Gay Liberation."

Programming expands

Stonewall’s programming now includes a Distinguished Author Lecture Series, literature discussion groups, an opera appreciation group, two monthly film programs, a writer’s workshop, monthly art exhibitions, and a community space that generated over eight thousand visitors a year.

Grant gifted by the John C. Graves Trust of the Community Foundation of Broward

After receiving this generous grant, Stonewall hires its first full-time professional Executive Director.

Andrews Ave building sold to developers.

Stonewall immediately begins to look for a new home. It also launches a $1 Million capital building and endowment campaign.

Stonewall National Museum & Archives officially opens in January 2009

Located in the Ft. Lauderdale Branch Library/ArtServe building at 1300 East Sunrise, this 4,000-square foot building is home to the collection, exhibitions, public programs, and administration. At the time, The Stonewall Museum is one of the only permanent spaces, devoted solely to the display of exhibitions relating to LGBT culture and history.

Inaugural Stonewall National Education Project

Stonewall Museum Gallery opens in Wilton Manors