About the Archives
The mission of the Archives is to collect, describe, interpret, and provide access to publications, personal papers, organizations and business records, audiovisual materials, and ephemera created by, dealing with, or of special interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
History of the Archives
The Gay Community Center of Philadelphia (predecessor of today's William Way LGBT Community Center) opened in 1976 with a library in its first building. The Center also began saving its own business records. Throughout the years, as the Center moved from building to building, the growing Library and the Center's records moved with it. In 1990 the Gay/Lesbian Archives collected over the years by activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca were donated to the Center and came to form the nucleus of the present archival collections. Many donations later and with transfers of "older" materials from the Library, the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives has come to constitute one of the more important and active LGBT archives in the country.