Gary Wasdin Approved as Executive Director for Leather Archives and Museum - The Leather Journal

Gary Wasdin Approved as Executive Director for Leather Archives and Museum



Concluding a multi-month search process, an experienced library director and administrator will lead the next chapter of the Leather Archives and Museum. Gary Wasdin received unanimous support of all nine board members present at the Sunday afternoon meeting. He will assume his new position on January 2.


"Having known Gary from my local Leather community here in Seattle, it will be a welcome sight to see him at the Archives the next time I am in Chicago,” said Mike Daggs, LA&M Board Member. “I have great expectations for him based in my experiences in the community and the accessibility in showed while he lived in Washington. His openness and vision will be tremendous assets for helping LA&M achieve its new mission.”

Wasdin previously worked as a senior manager in the research libraries of the New York Public Library and held the executive leadership role at major library systems in Washington state, Nebraska and Alabama. Gary also served on the boards of national library service organizations.

“The search process was pretty amazing looking back,” said Randall “Bear Man” Klett, search committee chairperson and Leather Archives and Museum Treasurer. “The quality of our finalists, input from our community, and passion to make sure the LA&M is on the right path was consistently heard throughout the process from our members, donors, staff, volunteers, and members of the community at large. Gary will continue to lift the LA&M to new heights.”

“I’m excited about the great work already taking place to ensure that Leather, kink, BDSM and fetish history and culture is collected, preserved and made available,” said Wasdin. “In the coming weeks I look forward to working closely with staff, members of the board, and the community as we begin to build upon the great foundation that has been laid by so many before me.”

Wasdin will represent the Leather Archives and Museum at Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend in Washington DC, January 12-14. He will release his full travel schedule in the coming weeks as part of the 2018 LA&M Road Show as well as opportunities to meet him at the LA&M. More on the Leather Archives and Museum at

Founded in 1991, in just 26 years the Leather Archives & Museum has become recognized worldwide as a significant center dedicated to the compilation, preservation, and maintenance of primary materials on the Leather, kink, BDSM and fetish communities and their cultures in both physical and electronic formats. Our museum galleries serve to present educational and historical material that highlights the silent histories of marginalized and under-represented communities.

The Archives is located on Greenview Avenue in Chicago near Loyola University. The building houses the Teri Rose Library with holdings of over 3,000 books and 12,600 journals and periodicals, searchable by an online catalog, 1,425 square feet archival storage space, and eight exhibit galleries. Among its ongoing endeavors are the Women’s Leather History Program, a gallery with rotating exhibits that celebrate contemporary artists who inspire dialogues related to Leather, kink, BDSM and fetish and a community space used for programming and special events. The LA&M is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charity under the 501 c (3) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Nearly all income is derived from the generous support of member organizations within the Leather/kink/BDSM/fetish communities.



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