Stories from the Archive

Read more about some of GALA's archive collections

Bill Curry

On 27 July, South Africa lost an icon of the stage and screen: Bill (William) Curry.
Gala wishes to honour the memory of this remarkable actor by revisiting his personal collection,
which was donated to the archive by Curry in 1999.

GLOW Collection

Founded on April 9th, 1988, the
Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the
Witwatersrand (GLOW) aimed to create an explicitly
non-homophobic, non-racist, and non-sexist space for gays and lesbians living in and around Johannesburg.

gerald kraak

activist, poet, writer and humanitarian.
Kraak left a substantial personal collection to Gala in his will – reinforcing his
commitment to the importance of archives and preserving history in his lifetime.

Michel(e)* Bruno

Celebrated Joburg hairdresser, drag performer and early gender non-conformer.

Sally Gross

Sally Gross was born intersex, with a sexual anatomy that
didn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male.

GALA's T-shirt Collection

Gala has a wonderful t-shirt collection, some collected by Gala, and others attached to personal and organisational collections.

Queer Student Activism at Wits

Wayne Sampson was involved in the Wits Gay Movement while attending the University of the
Witwatersrand (Wits) in the late 1980s. His collection consists of publications from the Wits Gay Movement, meeting notes and sketches, as well as other Wits publications from 1987, a time of student protests and police retaliation on campus.

Radical Objects - Mathoko's Postbox

Sometime in the early 1980s, an unassuming house in KwaThema, a township just outside of Johannesburg, became a safe haven for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Gay Christian Community  (GCC) Collection gets a boost

With the closing of its doors in December 2017, the Johannesburg-based Christian organisation, which began in 1982, donated the bulk of its records to GALA.

Peter Busse Remembered

The Peter Busse Collection was originally just a single folder containing a few documents.  In January 2018 GALA received a substantial donation from Busse's friends and family, consisting largely of personal items belonging to the late HIV and AIDS activist.


GALA wishes to honour the legacy that Nicol left behind, particularly in the collections she donated to GALA in the 1990s, which reflect and document her significant contribution to queer rights in South Africa.