On March 31, Trans Day of Visibility, the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive was severely damaged when an out-of-control SUV accidentally crashed into the archive’s back wall. The uninsured driver fled the scene.  Thankfully, the collection was undamaged for the most part but we are left with a great deal of work to do to rebuild. This disaster strikes just as we were set to begin our annual fundraising drive to celebrate Louise’s birthday and fund our work. It is now more critical than ever that we ask you for any donation you can make.

For news coverage of the incident, please see recent articles in the Vallejo Times Herald and the Bay Area Reporter.


The goal of the Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive (LLTA or simply Louise) is to increase the understanding of transgender people and encourage new scholarship by making transgender historical materials available to students, scholars and the public.

The archive is named in honor of Northern California transgender pioneer Louise Lawrence, who began living full-time as a woman in 1942, first in the Berkeley, CA, then San Francisco.  She, along with Virginia Prince and others, published the first incarnation of Transvestia in 1952.  Louise’s address book was the initial subscription list and she was instrumental in developing the trans community’s connection to pioneering sex researchers such as Alfred Kinsey and Harry Benjamin. MORE BIOGRAPHICAL INFO HERE

"The history of marginalized communities is elusive, imperiled and best preserved by the community itself."

Ms. Bob DavisFounder, LLTA

"I think this
is our Denise....."

Discovering Forgotten Scrapbooks of Trans History

Feminine Presentation

Masculine Presentation

Professional Female Impersonators

Professional Male Impersonators

Trans Activism

With gratitude for the support of:

Horizons Foundation
LEF Foundation / California
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Small Change Foundation
St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment
LLTA is a sponsored project of the GLBT Historical Society


Your donation to the LLTA is tax deductible thanks to our partnership with the GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco. Please help us carry out our mission to preserve our transgender history.


Research Resources

Support for the LLTA: Videos from Susan Stryker, KJ Rawson, Julia Serano

Recent Posts / View All Posts

Disaster Strikes the LLTA

| LLTA News | No Comments
Thursday, March 31st was International Day of Transgender Visibility. I was rushing to events in San Francisco and ran into the archive to get some brochures. Imagine my surprise when…

Solano Pride Transgender Week of Remembrance

| LLTA News | No Comments
Solano Pride Center is expanding their Transgender Day of Remembrance observance to a virtual Transgender Week of Remembrance. Two members of Louise’s speakers bureau are featured presenters. Tuesday, Nov. 16…

Donate to the LLTA 2020 Fundraising Drive

| LLTA News, LLTA Transgender History Galleries | No Comments
 Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive has five scrapbooks, the personal archive of a trans woman named Denise, who compiled them in the 1960's and 1970's.  Denise's scrapbooks have inspired LLTA to…

Louise Warmly Welcomes You

A Message from Ms. Bob Davis

Founder and director of Louise Lawrence Transgender Archive

For over 35 years I have been fascinated by the history of my trans community, the people who formed it and those who preceded it.  The first transgender magazine I bought was the premiere issue of Female Mimics International in 1979.  By the early 1990s I had accumulated a rich trove of transgender history, information that many in the community wanted to see.  I began to share the archive by writing history columns for trans community publications such as Lady Like, Transgender Community News and Transgender Tapestry.  Many of these articles are available at the Transgender Forum archive www.tgforum.com.  I have presented lectures on trans history at conferences such as the 2nd International Congress on Crossdressing, Sex and GenderCalifornia Dreamin’, and Fantasia Fair (2014). By 2000, scholars of transgender history had begun requesting access to my archive because of its depth and the rarity of its holdings.

The LOUISE LAWRENCE TRANSGENDER ARCHIVE is the next logical step, a community-based institution that will make this important collection available to scholars and the public.  The history of marginalized communities is elusive, imperiled and best preserved by the community itself.  The LLTA will preserve transgender history and encourage its study.

An Interview with Ms. Bob with David Perry’s 10 Percent Show