About the Author
Since 2006, Bob Skiba been the curator at the William Way Center‘s wonderful John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives. The photos and artifacts featured here on The Gayborhood Guru come from those archival collections as well as from Bob’s own collections.
He’s given many lectures and produced exhibits about Philly area gay history, on topics ranging from bars to gays and religion to Philadelphia’s African-American LGBT community. He’s served as a keynote speaker for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Public History Community Forum.
He’s been honored with the Founders Award from Men of All Colors Together for his community service and was part of the William Way Center’s 2013 Homecoming Court. In 2015, he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Environmental Protection Agency’s LGBT Special Emphasis Program. He’s also a regular contributor to and a huge fan of Chris Bartlett’s Gay History Wiki.
Bob has worked as a tour guide in Philadelphia for about 15 years. He’s serving his fifth term as the president of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides, edited their Tour Guides Handbook and is on the APT Master Guide Certification Panel. Bob sits on on the Education and Museum Committee at Elfreth’s Alley as well as the Advisory Committee for Dance USA Philadelphia.
In 2013, he co-authored “Lost Philadelphia” with APT colleague Ed Mauger. In 2015, Bob updated Ed’s 2002 book “Philadelphia Then and Now.” In 2015 he’ll also be doing a Gayborhood History book for the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing.
In 2013, Bob curated an exhibit at the Philadelphia History Museum about the William Way Center’s archives called “Private Lives in Public Spaces.” Recrently Bob curated a major exhibit that opened at the National Constitution Center on June 5, 2015. Called “Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights and the Supreme Court,” it honors the fiftieth anniversary of the Annual Reminder demonstrations at Independence Hall and documents the the long and complex struggle for gay rights in America and will run until January 3, 2016. There’s more information about the 2015 city-wide anniversary of the Annual Reminder demonstrations here: www.reminder2015.org.
Bob frequently gives historical walking tours of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood through the William Way Community Center. A Center City resident, you’ll find him either sorting through boxes at the Archives or strolling around the Gayborhood, camera in hand. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi Bob. I heard you speak at Giovanni’s Room 2 years ago in April when I moved to that block of 12th St. from Nashville.
I have shot and directed one chapter of the history story of gay nightlife and activism, and need to find an editor to shape it into a piece to use to get funds to shoot more chapters.
My first story is about Nashville, my original hometown, but I want to tell the stories of my new Philly family next. I hang out at venture inn and met George Dubet there a couple of months ago.
I would love to stop by and say hi and show you the interviews and archival footage I have. If nothing else it needs to have a home in your archives.
Hope to meet you soon!
329 S12th Street #101
Holly, contact me at email@example.com I’m happy to meet with you!
Thanks for a wonderful tour this morning, Bob. It was so interesting and you are a great tour guide and ‘ambassador’ for Philly!
Thank you for the kind words, Michelle!
Hi Bob. I have heard such great reviews of your tours that I would like to talk with you about setting up two tours for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) conference in Philly this August (2018). Could you please send me your contact information? Thanks so much.
Adriana – I’ve contacted you via my WWCC email account. I’d be glad to talk to you!