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social sciences

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Libraries and Archives  
page: 1  2  3  4  

All too often, relatives of a deceased person discard memorabilia with glbtq interest. To prevent this from happening, individuals--before becoming incapacitated--should contact archivists in order to create clear instructions about transfer of their records. This also provides institutional staff with appropriate context for the donated materials.

In the absence of such arrangements, discovery of significant collections is left to serendipity. Having conservators who themselves are knowledgeable about glbtq culture is also helpful.

Sponsor Message.

For example, when lesbian archivist Linda Long began a new job at the University of Oregon she came across 30 unprocessed boxes marked "Jean and Ruth Mountaingrove" that turned out to be, in the words of Carolyn Gage, a "mother lode of lesbian culture."

These writings, images, and videotapes documented the Oregon rural lesbian communities of the 1970s, including material gathered by the Southern Oregon Country Lesbian Archival Project (SO CLAP!) spearheaded by Tee Corinne. Without the attention of a knowledgeable conservator, this history might have remained inaccessible for decades.


Probably the best assurance against future loss of glbtq records is their proliferation and duplication in different formats among multiple collections. Modern preservation methods, secure storage in brick-and-mortar facilities, and digitization are necessary, while the Internet also provides creative possibilities for exhibition and dissemination.

Most importantly, all segments of the queer population must recognize that their stories and images will continue to provide vital affirmations for future generations.

Ruth M. Pettis

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literature >> Overview:  Awards

The contemporary literary awards given specifically to honor glbtq books may be seen as an outgrowth of the modern American gay rights movement, so intertwined are they with the movement for equality.

literature >> Overview:  Censorship

Governments, publishers, editors, and even gay writers themselves have censored gay content in literature from the Renaissance to the present.

literature >> Overview:  Identity

Although the question of homosexual identity is a complex one, it has polarized activists, theorists, and literary critics into two primary camps, essentialists and constructionists, both of which can contribute usefully to an understanding of the gay and lesbian literary heritage.

social sciences >> Overview:  Metropolitan Community Church

The Metropolitan Community Church, a Christian denomination founded to minister to the glbtq community, has grown into a worldwide ministry with over 40,000 members in 18 countries.

social sciences >> Overview:  Nazism and the Holocaust

As part of its agenda to preserve an "Aryan master race," Nazism persecuted homosexuals as "asocial parasites"; more than 100,000 men were arrested on homosexual charges during the Nazi years, with 5,000-15,000 gay men incarcerated in concentration camps.

social sciences >> Overview:  Oral History

Oral history has been an especially effective tool for lifting the curtain of invisibility from glbtq history.

literature >> Baldwin, James Arthur

James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.

arts >> Corinne, Tee

The shy superstar of lesbian erotica, American artist Tee Corinne is especially known for her frank and sensuous depictions of lesbian sex.

literature >> Fierstein, Harvey

Award-winning Harvey Fierstein is one of the finest gay male playwrights currently working in the American theater.

social sciences >> Gittings, Barbara

A pioneer in the American gay rights movement, Barbara Gittings worked tirelessly within the American Library Association to make material with glbtq content more accessible to the reading public.

literature >> Hall, Radclyffe

Radclyffe Hall, who lived her lesbianism openly and proudly, is best known for The Well of Loneliness, arguably the most important lesbian novel ever written.

social sciences >> Hay, Harry

Activist Harry Hay, an original member of both the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries, is recognized as one of the principal founders of the gay liberation movement in the United States.

social sciences >> Hirschfeld, Magnus

German-born Magnus Hirschfeld deserves recognition as a significant theorist of sexuality and the most prominent advocate of homosexual emancipation of his time.

social sciences >> Hormel, James C.

Philanthropist and political activist James C. Hormel became the first openly gay United States ambassador despite the vociferous opposition of conservative groups.

social sciences >> Humphreys, Laud

A founder of the Sociologists' Gay Caucus and a pioneer researcher in the study of homosexual behavior, Laud Humphreys combined academic study with political activism of all kinds.

literature >> Lorde, Audre

The work of African-American activist and writer Audre Lord was greatly influenced by her lesbianism.

social sciences >> Lyon, Phyllis, (b. 1924) and Del Martin (1921-2008)

Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin were among the founders of a lesbian liberation movement that developed and enlarged the very definition of lesbianism.

social sciences >> Mattachine Society

One of the earliest American gay movement organizations, the Mattachine Society was dedicated to the cultural and political liberation of homosexuals; but in the face of McCarthyism, it adopted conservative policies of accommodationism.

social sciences >> Milk, Harvey

Harvey Milk, among the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, was assassinated in San Francisco's City Hall, making him the American gay liberation movement's most visible martyr.

literature >> Miller, Isabel

The fiction of Isabel Miller explores and celebrates relationships between women, often across class lines.

literature >> Nestle, Joan

Through her writing, teaching, editing, and activism, Joan Nestle has devoted her life to promoting awareness of glbtq culture and advancing glbtq equality.

literature >> Rich, Adrienne

Adrienne Rich, who aestheticized politics and politicized aesthetics, is America's most widely read lesbian poet.

literature >> Sappho

Admired through the ages as one of the greatest lyric poets, the ancient Greek writer Sappho is today esteemed by lesbians around the world as the archetypal lesbian and their symbolic mother.

social sciences >> Sarria, José

José Sarria, a San Francisco singer, drag performer, and activist, exemplified gay pride before the phrase was invented.

arts >> Schwules Museum [Gay Museum]

Berlin's Schwules Museum [Gay Museum] is a private institution dedicated to preserving, exhibiting, and discovering homosexual history, art, and culture.

literature >> Shakespeare, William

As one of the key figures that western civilization has used to define itself, William Shakespeare stands in a complicated, fiercely contested relationship to homosexuality.

social sciences >> Vincenz, Lilli

Veteran activist Lilli Vincenz, who commenced her activism before Stonewall, also collected thousands of documents about the movement for glbtq rights; donated to the Library Congress, they provide scholars an invaluable resource.


Advocates for Youth. "YouthResource."

AIDS Library of Philadelphia:

Alexander, Linda B., and Sarah D. Miselis. "Barriers to GLBTQ Collection Development and Strategies for Overcoming Them." Young Adult Library Services 5.3 (April 1, 2007): 73-79.

American Library Association. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table:

Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives:

Carmichael, James V., Jr., ed. Daring to Find Our Names. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Chick, Kay. "Fostering an Appreciation for all Kinds of Families: Picture Books with Gay and Lesbian Themes." Bookbird 46.1 (2008): 15-22.

Cornell University Library. Human Sexuality Collection:

Curry, Ann. "If I Ask, Will They Answer? Evaluating Public Library Reference Service to Gay and Lesbian Youth." Reference & User Services Quarterly 45.1 (Fall 2005): 65-75.

Gage, Carolyn. "Hidden Treasure: A Lesbian Archivist Discovers a Hidden Literary Treasure in Southern Oregon." Lambda Book Report 16:1/2 (Spring 2008): 14-16.

Gerber/Hart Library:

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society:

Gordon, Larry. "Documenting the Toll of AIDS--Archives in L.A. and San Francisco Collect Personal and Official Records of the Costs and Lessons of the Epidemic." Los Angeles Times (January 2, 2008): B3.

Gough, Cal, and Ellen Greenblatt, eds. Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Library Service. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1990.

Gregg, Joseph, and Robert B. Marks Ridinger. International Thesaurus of Gay and Lesbian Index Terms. Chicago: Thesaurus Committee, Gay and Lesbian Task Force, American Library Association, 1988.

Hall-Carpenter Archives:

International Homodok / Lesbisch Informatiecentrum:

Internet Public Library for Teens. "TeenSpace: Health and Sexuality."

June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives:

Kester, Norman G. Liberating Minds: The Stories and Professional Lives of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Librarians and Their Advocates. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1997.

Kirste, Lynne. "Collective Effort: Archiving LGBT Moving Images." Cinema Journal 46.3 (Spring 2007): 134-40.

Leather Archives and Museum:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Religious Archives Network:

Lesbian Herstory Archives:

Leyden, Liz. "Taking Up Where the History Books Left Off: Lesbian Archives Celebrate 25 Years." The Washington Post (October 23, 1999): C1.

Martin, Hillias J., and James R. Murdock. Serving Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2007.

Maxwell, Lynne. "Building Rainbow Families." Library Journal 133.6 (April 1, 2008): 54.

Morris, Charles E. "Archival Queer." "Forum: The Politics of Archival Research." Rhetoric & Public Affairs 9:1 (Spring 2006): 113-51.

Nemours Foundation. "TeensHealth."

Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project. "LGBT History on the Web."

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America. ""

Quintanilla, Michael. "A Thousand Stories: Letters, Diaries, Magazines and Artwork Share Space at L.A.'s New ONE Institute and Archives . . . ." Los Angeles Times (April 29, 2001): E-1.

Ridinger, Robert B. Marks. "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resources on the Web." Choice 42.8 (April 2005): 1343-54.

San Francisco Public Library. James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center:

Schwules Museum:

Society of American Archivists' Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable:

Thomas, Devon. "A Place on the Shelf." Library Journal 132.8 (May 1, 2007): 40.

University of Minnesota Libraries. Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies:


    Citation Information
    Author: Pettis, Ruth M.  
    Entry Title: Libraries and Archives  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2008  
    Date Last Updated May 29, 2010  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
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    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2009 glbtq, Inc.  


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