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This is not an exhaustive list of LGBTQ+ archival repositories. Rather, we include here a number of unique and important sources for information on LGBTQ+ histories, as a place to begin research and investigation.
Canadian Lesbian+Gay Archives (CLGA)
The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) is the largest independent LGBTQ+ archives in the world. With a focus on Canadian content, the CLGA acquires, preserves and provides public access to information and archival materials including important historical records, personal papers, unpublished documents, publications, audio-visual material, works of art, photographs, posters.
GLBT Historical Society
Located in San Francisco, the archives of the GLBT Historical Society contain approximately 800 collections of personal papers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and organizational records. These collections include unpublished material such as letters, diaries and scrapbooks documenting the lives of both average people and community leaders. They also include the records of many community organizations, businesses and political campaigns. The archives hold over 70 linear feet of ephemera; 5,000 periodical titles; tens of thousands of photographs; approximately 1,000 t-shirts; thousands of posters; more than 500 oral histories; approximately 1,000 hours of recorded sound; and approximately 1,000 hours of film and video. The archives also has extensive holdings of historic textiles, fine and graphic arts, and artifacts.
Lavender Legacies Guide
Published by the Society of American Archivists’ Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable (LAGAR), Lavender Legacies is the first formal and comprehensive guide to primary source material relating to the history and culture of LGBT people held by repositories in North America. This guide describes collections containing significant LGBT subject content, as well as repositories that focus exclusively on collecting LBGT material.
The Lesbian Herstory Archives
The Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. Located in Brooklyn, NY, you can plan a visit, take a virtual tour, or access the digital collections from this website. The Archives has both print and non-print materials, such as books, unpublished papers, conference proceedings, newsletters, photographs, slides, periodicals, audio-tapes, CDs, DVDS, videos, films, subject and organizational files, reference tools, artwork, calendars, banners, manuscripts, music, clothing, buttons and more!
The LGBT Community Center National History Archive
Founded in 1990 by volunteer archivist Rich Wandel, the archive provides a look into the lives and experiences of LGBT people throughout the years. The Center Archive contains a wide range of media from as early as 1920, including photography, correspondence, news clippings, radio sound bytes, video broadcasts, and personal journals. The Center is based in New York City, and contains both a physical and digital collection.
Skeivt Arkiv (LGBT Archive of Norway)
A part of the Department of Special Collections at the University Library in Bergen, a department with expertise in storage, preservation and dissemination of archival material, the Skeivt archival collections consist of a number of archives of individuals and organizations as well as books and periodicals. In addition, the Skeivt Arkiv contains a collection of video interviews documenting the lives of people who have been associated with LGBT organization or otherwise can tell about living outside heteronormative expectations. The Skeivt Arkiv also collects Queer stories, written accounts that people can write anonymously and post on our site, and is building up a lexicon called Skeivopedia, which is continually updated with new articles.
The Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP)
The zine archive was first launched in November 2003 in an effort to preserve queer zines and make them available to other queers, researchers, historians, punks, and anyone else who has an interest in DIY publishing and underground queer communities.
The Visibility Project
A national community powered video story collection and photo portraiture series, the Visibility Project combines art, media, and social justice to document the personal experiences of Queer Asian American Women + Trans + and Gender non-conforming folks. The project is on-going, with the goal of creating a diverse archive of Queer Asian American Women + Trans history, and a comprehensive resource guide searchable by region and communities served.
History of LGBTQ Organizing in Rural Oregon - The Rural Organizing Project emerged out of the campaign to defeat the anti-gay Ballot Measure 9. This interactive timeline (a work in progress!) features some key moments and stories from the history of LGBTQ organizing in rural and small town Oregon from the early 1990’s to today.
Driskill, Qwo-Li et al. Eds. Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature. Tucson: University of Arizona, 2011.
Hodge, Dino, ed. Colouring the Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives. Mile End, S.Aust.: Wakefield Press, 2015
Johnson, E. Patrick. Mae G. Henderson. Eds. Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. New York, 1990.
Kugle, Scott Siraj-Haqq. Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims. New York: NYU Press, 2014.
Matzner, Andrew. O Au Keia: Voices from Hawai'i's Mahu and Transgender Communities. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2001.
Spade, Dean. Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law. Brooklyn, NY: South End Press, 2011.
Oregon State isn’t the only university with a queer archive! Listed below are a number of other university-based archives with a focus on LGBTQ+ histories.
Arizona Queer Archives
The Arizona Queer Archives (AQA) is the state of Arizona’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) collecting archives of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona. AQA works in collaboration with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI), gender non-conforming, and Two Spirit communities throughout Arizona to identify, preserve, and make available records, papers, and ephemera of enduring (and endearing) value that document the distinct histories of these communities.
LGBTQ History Archive at WUSTL
Primary and secondary sources about LGBTQ history at Washington University and in the St. Louis region. Contains an overview of sources for researching the history and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities, at both Washington University and in the the larger St. Louis region.
ONE Archives at USC Libraries
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries is the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. Founded in 1952, ONE Archives currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records, and personal papers. ONE Archives has been a part of the University of Southern California Libraries since 2010.
The Transgender Archives at University of Victoria, BC
The Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria is committed to the preservation of the history of pioneering activists, community leaders, and researchers who have contributed to the betterment of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Going back over 100 years, spanning 18 countries across five continents, and at over 320 linear feet / 98 linear meters, University of Victoria’s collections comprise the largest trans archives in the world.
Though perhaps not technically considered “archives” or repositories in a traditional sense, these projects are nevertheless committed to preserving queer history and memory.
The Incluseum is a project based in Seattle, Washington that advances new ways of being a museum through critical discourse, community building and collaborative practice related to inclusion in museums. Since the Incluseum project began in 2012, their work has included workshops, conference presentations, trainings, exhibits, advisory positions, and publications.
LGBTQ Video Game Archive
Self-described as a “curated collection of information about LGBTQ and queerly read game content,” this website contains information about LGBTQ content in digital games from the 1980s to the present. It is part of an ongoing research project by Dr. Adrienne Shaw at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mobile Homecoming is an innovative and loving response to a deep craving for intergenerational connection. A craving that lives in the hearts of queer black same gender loving elders and visionaries. A craving that has taken over the minds of two young queer black women. Julia Wallace of Queer Renaissance and Alexis Pauline Gumbs of BrokenBeautiful Press have decided to dedicate the next phase of their lives to collecting and amplifying the social organizing herstories of black women, trans men, and gender queer visionaries who have been refusing the limits of heteronormativity and opening the world up by being themselves in the second half of the 20th century.