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Issues of Queer Archives
That gay and lesbian history even exists has been a contested fact, and the struggle to record and preserve it is exacerbated by the invisibility that often surrounds intimate life, especially sexuality. Even the relatively short history (roughly “one hundred years”) of homosexuality as an identity category has created the historiographical challenge of not only documenting the wide varieties of homosexual experience but examining documents of homophobia along with earlier histories of homoeroticism and same-sex relations.
Ann Cvetkovich in An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures, p. 242
Queer Archives & Primary Source Collections
Some of the archives listed below have portions of their collections digitized and available online for researchers. Material that has not been digitized is usually available in person. Contact the reference archivists at these institutions for research help and/or for use of materials in research projects.
The Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists has also compiled the Lavender Legacies Guide, a comprehensive list of LGBTQ collections in the United States and Canada. Click here for the full Lavender Legacies Guide.
Digital Transgender Archive
"The DTA uses the term transgender to refer to a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices." An online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world. Based at Northeastern University, the DTA is an international collaboration among more than sixty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections. Focus is on materials created before 2000, with some materials dating back to the 18th century.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives in the USC Digital Library
This is a digitized subset of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, the largest repository of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. Includes articles, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, and more.
Lesbian Herstory Archives: Audio/Video Digital Collections
Digitized collections include Audre Lorde lectures, local oral histories, Dyke TV, and more. Click "Browse Items" to browse or search across all of the collections.
Lesbian Herstory Archives: Image Collections
Over 600 images of queer life and activism.
Gay & Lesbian History: NYPL Digital Collections
Over 1000 images of queer activists, organizations, and protests in New York spanning from the 1950's to the 1990's.
A digitization project (supported by Wellesley!) of the independent alternative press of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Select "LGBT" to see issues of journals, magazines, and literary magazines created by and for an LGBT audience. Use the box that says, "search within results" to find specific issues with your search terms.
Databases with News Sources
You can use the publication date limiter on the results page to find historical evidence about a person, event, movement, cultural artifact, etc. Limit by content type to newspaper or magazine articles to look at evidence in the popular or alternative press.
Articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative and independent press, 1995 to present.
Index to literature on topics pertaining to sexuality and gender identity, including full text for over 140 of the most important and historically significant LGBTQ+ journals, magazines, and regional newspapers.
With a focus on how gender impacts a broad spectrum of subject areas, this collection gathers historical perspectives on the evolution of the women's movement, men's studies, the transgender community, and changes in gender roles, including articles dating back as far as the 1970s.
An interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish), full text database of newspapers, magazines, and journals from ethnic, minority and native presses, 1960 to present.
One of the largest collections of US newspapers, many in full text, as well as news sites, blogs, and newswires from the 1980s to the present (dates vary by title). Includes The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal.
Subjects: Africana Studies
, American Studies
, Cinema & Media Studies
, Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences
, Comparative Literature
, East Asian Languages & Cultures
, East Asian Studies
, German & German Cultural Studies
, Italian Studies
, Latin American Studies
, Russian & Russian Area Studies