Shapiro, Harvey Papers

Span Dates: 1974-2015
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 4 linear feet, 8 boxes


This collection consists primarily of photographs of Congregation Kol Ami, Reform synagogue in West Hollywood. The collection also holds ephemera concerning LGBTQ communities, religious groups, and AIDS/HIV, including newspaper clippings, flyers, brochures, and programs.

Hist/Bio Note

Harley Paul Shapiro, teacher, photographer, and HIV/AIDS and commuity activist, was born in Los Angeles, California in 1946. He attended Fairfax High School and the University of California, Los Angeles before moving to the Bay Area in 1967 to attend grad school at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, he taught Cultural Anthropology at several schools including the University of San Francisco. Shapiro received several Fulbright scholarships which enabled him to travel around the world, including India, Ecuador, Argentina, Korea, and Japan. He also participated in projects with the US Peace Corps in Jamaica, Asia, and Latin America. A lifelong photographer, Shapiro documented his travels and shared images, videos, and presentations of LGBTQ+ communities and culture worldwide. Shapiro met Rabbi Denise Eger shortly after his return to Los Angeles in 1990, and became one of the first members of the newly formed Congregation Kol Ami. He was an active member of the congregation until he moved to San Francisco in 2004. During his time with Kol Ami, Shapiro volunteered his skills as a photographer, documenting many of the congregation's events, holidays, and life celebrations. Shapiro been an LGBTQ+ activist for decades, working in San Francisco with Harvey Milk in the 1970s, and political and HIV/AIDS activism in the 1980s and 1990s. He has worked with a number of groups in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center and Congregation Kol Ami, to promote awareness and advocate for patients' rights.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available through the Online Archives of California.


This collection is housed at ONE Institute 909 West Adams Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90007


Artist/musician/poet | California | Jewish (Reform) | Jewish (ethnic, Reform, Reconstructionist, Orthodox) | Gay Liberation Movement