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The Leather History Timeline
|Timeline Table of Contents|
The origin of this edition of the timeline, the version control conventions adopted, and a call for contributions including corrections, updates, and additions.
|5000 BCE to 1969|
|1970 to 1984|
|1985 to 1999|
|2000 to 2014|
|2015 and later|
|Other Versions of the LHT and Similar Timelines|
Additional resources about the history and mythology of BDSM and Leather.
Tony DeBlase created the Leather History Timeline (LHT) as a project for the Leather Archives & Museum. The LHT chronologically recorded important moments, people, publications, and clubs.
DeBlase incorporated content from the German language Datenschlag Chronicle of Sadomasochism. In turn, he contributed his research to Datenschlag Chronicle.
Though not a comprehensive account of Leather history, the Timeline was initially used to:
- Fill in the gaps within the LA&M collections, which allowed researchers, visitors, and historians to access, validate, revise, edit, and make additions to the purview and scope of Leather history.
- Record as much of this history as possible and share it with leather/kink/BDSM communities so that we knew we had a history.
- Invite and encourage people to update the LHT in real time.
I performed the intial conversion of the timeline from PDF to HTML for the Leather Archives & Museum (LA&M) web site. I placed the information in tables and I added added navigation and sematic markup.
Several editions of the time line have been published since then.
The LA&M stopped updating the timeline on June 30th 2014 and removed it from the website on January 1st 2015. At that time, the LA&M's web site explained:
It has become virtually impossible to recordleather historyin a PDF, particularly within a timeline that is maintained by a single institution whose focus is to collect, preserve, and exhibit Leather/kink/fetish/BDSM lifestyles through archives and memorabilia for historical, educational and research purposes. The LA&M does not purport to be the single authority on these communities, and the expectation of maintaining a document like the LHT assumes such authority, which does not align with the mission of the LA&M. Therefore, the Leather History Timeline will be integrated into our collections (in its many updated forms).
As the LA&M moves into 21st century, our collections and our institution have grown significantly—we hired a full-time archivist on staff, have significant numbers of volunteers and interns working to process, describe, and provide access to our holdings; we have increased our digital presence through social media, our online public access catalog Leather Archives Systems Holdings (LASH), and through our finding aids available on the LA&M website. We have thousands of records, artifacts, artwork, photographs, and films that chronicle Leather history in a way that just wasn’t possible in the earliest years of the LA&M.
It has become virtually impossible to record “leather history” in a PDF, particularly within a timeline that is maintained by a single institution whose focus is to collect, preserve, and exhibit Leather/kink/fetish/BDSM lifestyles through archives and memorabilia for historical, educational and research purposes. The LA&M does not purport to be the single authority on these communities, and the expectation of maintaining a document like the LHT assumes such authority, which does not align with the mission of the LA&M. Therefore, the Leather History Timeline will be integrated into our collections (in its many updated forms). Additionally, the LA&M is providing access to a PDF of the Timeline on our website’s Media Release page for the next six months. As of January 1st, 2015, the Timeline will be removed from the website and made available by request. Additionally, the LA&M encourages individuals, clubs, and leather communities alike to use the Timeline as a way to tell your own stories and histories. Please feel free to download the Timeline and add to it, make a Wiki about it, use the Timeline as a template and create your own! The LA&M looks forward to seeing the timelines that are created in the future.
The LA&M would also like to thank and acknowledge all the individuals and organizations that have edited, added to, conducted fact-checks, and revised the Leather History Timeline. You all have made it what it is today. Thank you for your participation!
After the LA&M removed the timeline from their site, I posted it on mine.
I consider this to be both a historical document and a living document. I don't intend to remove or change any items. I prefer to add addendums, notations, and corrections.
I will visually indicate additions and corrections by placing them on a white background in a dotted red border. The text will start with the designation "ADDENDUM," "CORRECTION," etc., to indicate it was not part of the original version on the LA&M website. This is my attempt at introducing what software developers refer to as "version control." It is meant to permit tracking changes to the timeline and an effective way to reconcile the different versions of the LHT in circulation.
I hope eventually some established organization (that is better equipped to maintain it) can take ownership of the LHT and offer an official, definative version that validates and incorporates all the contribution made to the disperate versions.
Call for Contributions
I welcome the following submissions for inclussion:
- Corrections of facts
- Missing citations for existing quotations
- Missing dates and page numbers for magazine articles
- Clubs or events that celebrate milestone anniversaries (5 year increments)
- Passing of people notably involved in the leather community
- Closing of leather bars, ending of clubs, ending of contests, etc.,
- The results of major annual Leather titles (regional, national, and international)
- Anything to do with the history of the LA&M
- Notable laws, court cases or police reports dealing with Fetish/BDSM and the Leather Lifestyle
- Nonpornograph and nonerotic imagery relevant to exisiting content
- Books published relevant to Leather and BDSM (including title, author, and date of publication)
I reserve the right to evaluate the relevancy and reliability of any submissions for inclussion in the timeline. And I reserve the right to edit for length and other considerations.
Citations and attributions are requested and desired highly.
I intend to attribute all additions and changes to the timelime. Unless told otherwise, I assume that anyone contributing to the timeline is willing to be listed as a contributor. Let me know how you wish to be attributed --- or if you choose not to be.
If you are on FetLife, you can either send me a message on my profile page or post your contributionsw to the Revised and Expanded Leather History Timeline discussion.
Otherwise, you can visit my contact page for current instructions for reaching me.