Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Ted Sahl Collection
Date (inclusive): 1976-2001
Accession number: MSS-2001-01-01
3 oversize boxes
(19 linear feet)
San José State University LibrarySpecial Collections & Archives
San José, California 95192-0028
Abstract: This collection documents the career of photojournalist Theodore (Ted) Sahl. Sahl spent the majority of his career documenting
social and political events in the Bay Area. The bulk of this collection documents his photographic work with the gay and
lesbian community in San José and the Bay Area from 1976-2001. The collection includes background research and working drafts
of Sahl's book
From Closet to Community: A Quest for Gay and Lesbian Liberation in San José & Santa Clara County (2002), personal papers, photographs and negatives depicting gay and lesbian life in San José, published and unpublished
essays, and materials related to the San José Gay Pride Committee.
Vault 2, Range 2B
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission
to publish or quote manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication
is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the collection. Copyright restrictions also apply
to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files from or derived from these collections is restricted
to research and educational purposes.
Ted Sahl Collection, MSS-2001-01-01, San José State University Library, Special Collections & Archives.
Donated to the San José State University Library by Theodore (Ted) Sahl, October 12, 2001.
Processing and finding aid by SJSU Special Collections & Archives Staff, reviewed by Danelle Moon. Guide encoded by Russell
Theodore (Ted) Sahl is an award winning photographer in San José, California. Sahl has spent the last 30 years as a photojournalist,
documenting social and political events in the Bay Area. Although best known for his involvement with the gay and lesbian
community (GLBT), he also covered the anti-nuclear demonstrations at the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory, and the
Farm Labor Strikes that occurred during the 1970's.
Sahl's long time association with the GLBT community began in 1978 after a bitter dispute took place between the gay community
and members of the Christian right. Local Christian groups were upset over the San José City Council's decision to issue
a proclamation in support of Gay Pride Week. While the Christian groups mobilized against the City Council, the gay community
held a rally in support of Gay Pride Week. Intrigued by the grassroots activism and interested in recording the event, Sahl
attended the protest and thereby launched a life long career documenting the GLBT community.
Initially, the GLBT community distrusted Sahl's motives as a heterosexual outsider. At that time, many individuals in the
gay community were still "closeted" and did not wish to be photographed. Over the next three decades however, Sahl gained
the trust of the GLBT community and today is widely recognized for his work as a photojournalist and as an outspoken advocate
for gay rights.
Sahl served as the staff photographer for a number of local GLBT newspapers including the Lambda News, South Bay Times, Our
Paper and Valley Views. His photographs have appeared in a number of works, including a 1999 San José Mercury News documentary
on the city's lesbian and gay community, entitled "A Community of One." In 1981, the San Francisco Cable Car Award Association
nominated Sahl for an award in photojournalism. He was also the recipient of an honorable mention in Advocate magazine's National
Photo Contest in the "People" category and has the distinction of being the only heterosexual to ever become the President
of the Board of the San José Gay Pride Celebration Committee.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection documents the career of photojournalist Ted (Theodore) Sahl, who spent the majority of his career documenting
social and political events in the Bay Area through photography. The bulk of this collection documents his photographic work
with the gay and lesbian community in San José and the Bay Area from 1976-2001.
The collection contains approximately 6,000 photographic images of the GLBT community. The collection also includes working
drafts of Sahl's book,
From Closet to Community: A Quest for Gay and Lesbian Liberation in San José & Santa Clara County (2002), personal papers, oral histories, a brief selection of Sahl's published and unpublished essays, and materials from
the Jose Gay Pride Committee (1976-2001, 1995-1997(bulk)). In addition, the collection contains political materials and memorabilia from the San José gay community such as local
gay and lesbian newsletters and papers, newspaper clippings, political buttons, programs, flyers, bulletins, and magazines.
The Ted Sahl Collection consists of seven series: Series I: Personal Papers; Series II: Community Events, Organizations and
Politics; Series III: Photographs & Negatives; Series IV: Audiotapes; Series V: Plaques & Ephemera; Series VI: Oversized
Materials: Series VII: Morgue (GLBT Reference Materials); Appendix A: Index of Negatives.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Gays -- Political activity -- California -- San José
Gays -- Political activity -- California -- Santa Clara County
Gays -- California -- San José -- History
Gays -- California -- Santa Clara County -- History
Gay liberation movement -- California -- San José
Gay liberation movement -- California -- Santa Clara County
Gays -- California -- San José -- Photographs
Gays -- California -- Santa Clara County -- Photographs
Gay pride parades -- California -- San José
Coming out (Sexual orientation) -- California -- Santa Clara County
Antinuclear movement -- California -- Livermore
Strikes and lockouts -- Agricultural laborers -- California