The compilation, preservation and maintenance of leather lifestyle and related lifestyles, history, archives and memorabilia for historical and research purposes.
Based on the far north side of Chicago, the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) is a library, museum and archive pertaining to Leather, fetishism, sadomasochism, and alternative sexual practices. All sexual orientations and genders are included, and the scope is worldwide! The library houses five thousand books and twelve thousand magazines, plus lots of scholarly publications, films and electronic resources. As for the museum collection, it's full of original erotic art and artifacts from alternative sex organizations and individuals. The archives (viewable by appointment) contain unpublished papers and records from notable BDSM activists, artists, businesses and organizations.
The LA&M doesn't just serve the Chicago community! Traveling exhibits ("LA&M Road Show") are sent to national events, and materials from international leather/fetish communities are preserved. The LA&M also provides email and telephone research assistance.
The 10,000 sq. foot, two-story building holds eight exhibition galleries; a 1,4425 sq. foot climate controlled archival storage space; a 164-seat auditorium; the G.A.G. Contemporary Fetish Gallery, with rotating exhibits by renowned and emerging fetish artists from around the world; and a 600 sq. foot reading library to store the research collections.
Now open, the Multimedia Gallery featuring digital and digitized history, films, and videotaped oral histories. Additional building space provides working areas for staff, volunteers and researchers.
The museum exhibitions are open to the public (18+ years old) Thursday and Friday 11am 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11am 5pm. The extensive archival collections are made available by appointment to bona fide researchers.
1. The Leather Archives & Museum is open to all in the fetish lifestyle