archives

On this page you will find details of various archives that relate to LGBTQ+ lives, loves, and communities.
The list below is in alphabetical order. 
Please use our search function below to check if we have details of a specific archive.
If you feel that there is an archive that should be here that isn't, please use the contact form below with the subject of 'ARCHIVES' to let us know!

ACT UP Historical Archive

  • Online archive.

In March 1987, ACT UP formed in New York City as a diverse, nonpartisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS Crisis.

This website is a little difficult to navigate but holds details and documents related to ACT UP.

Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony

  • An online archive founded in 2010.
  • Find details around access here

Founded in 2010, this archive digitizes and makes available online oral histories and testimony  of same-sex and same-gender attracted women. They are inclusive of Two Spirit, queer, bisexual, and lesbian women, transmen, and others.

Australian Lesbian & Gay Archives

  • PO Box: 124, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia
  • Check here for details around access and visiting.

Established in 1978, this archive is the only community group in Australia that actively collects and preserves LGBTIQ material from across the country, making it readily accessible.

Bishopsgate Institute

The LGBTQ+ Archives is one of the most extensive collections on LGBTQ+ history, politics and culture in the UK. It covers the late nineteenth century onward. The collections encompass LGBTQ+ history, politics, and culture, with archives from the Museum of Transology, Stonewall, Switchboard, GMFA/The Gay Men's Health Charity, Outrage! and material relating to the Terrence Higgins Trust, Achilles Heel and QX magazines. They also hold records of individuals including Paris Lees, Sue Sanders/Schools Out/LGBT History Month and many others.

The UK Leather and Fetish Archives seek to document and celebrate the history and heritage of the Gay/Bi leather, rubber and fetish communities in the UK, and to provide access to the archive to researchers, students and the general public for education and research.

Dr. John P. De Cecco Archives & Special Collections

  • Address: Archives & Research Center, 989 Market Street, Lower Level, San Francisco, CA 94103
  • Find information about visiting here.
  • They have some online resources available here

Ran by the GLBT Historical Society, this archive holds materials pertaining to LGBTQ people. They have over 900 collections including personal papers, organisational records, periodicals, oral histories, photographs, audiovisual recordings, ephemera, artefacts, and works of art.

Glasgow Women's Library - The Lesbian Archive

  • Address: 23 Landressy St, Bridgeton, Glasgow, G40 1BP
  • Check out here to search the archive.
  • Have a look at the LGBTQ Collections Online Resource to see some highlights from the archive.
  • If you wish to access the archive and museum collections, contact the library to make an appointment.

Glasgow Women's Library is home to one of the most significant LGBT historical collections in the UK. With material spanning from the 1920s to the present day, the collection holds some really significant archives and artefacts of UK and International LGBT History.

Haringey Vanguard

  • This project is not complete yet but you can find details of their progress in the link above.
  • The project will be administered by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and Haringey Archives staff, and project funded specialists.

 

The Haringey Vanguard project, funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, will establish a community Black LGBTQ+ oral-history and memorabilia archive at Haringey Archive and Museums Service. This will record histories (1980-present) in imminent danger of being lost forever.

Harvard Film Archive: Jenni Olson Queer Film Collection

  • Online.
  • Currently unavailable for researchers to access as it was recently acquired and so is still be processed. Processing is expected to be completed in 2021. 

Olson is one of the world's leading experts on LGBT film history and is a longtime chaption of LGBT cinema around the world. Acquired in April 2020, the collection consists of two major series. The first consists of materials relating to Jenni Olson’s own filmmaking—including prints, negatives, digital masters, and production and distribution documentation—and the second is Olson’s vast trove of film and video material documenting LGBT film history. The collection also features a small set of queer home movies—with detailed shot lists— documenting gay pride parades in San Francisco, in addition to Olson’s many trailer compilation reels.

Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England

  • An online sourcebook complied by Rictor Norton. 

An incredibly useful collection of sources that provide examples of queer history in England. The sources span from 1624-1799.

Homosexuality in Nineteenth-Century England

  • An online sourcebook complied by Rictor Norton. 

A useful collection of sources that provide examples of queer history in England. The sources span from 1800-1889.

Islington's Pride Archive 

  • Address: Islington Museum, 245 St John Street, EC1V 4NB, United Kingdom
  • Take a look here for details on physical access.
  • Some of the collection is available online and can be accessed here.

Islington’s Pride is a unique archive focusing on the London Borough of Islington’s LGBTQ+ heritage, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The borough has been highly influential in the growth of the LGBTQ+ community, its organisations and rights through the 20th and into the 21st Century

Islington’s Pride archive consists of 3D-objects, published works, manuscripts, and oral histories collected from the community. It includes subject areas covering campaigning and politics, social life, health and wellbeing, individuals, and the borough’s LGBTQ+ community.

Kinsey Institute: Indiana University

  • Address: Lindley Hall, 150 S Woodlawn Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
  • For details around access, check here.

The Kinsey Institute aims to foster and promote a greater understanding of human sexuality and relationships through research, outreach, education, and historical preservation.

Among the archival collections are the papers of Dr. Alfred Kinsey and the records of the Institute as well as papers of Masters & Johnson, John Money, Harry Benjamin, and Thomas N. Painter, and the institutional records of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the Albert Ellis archives, and the EROS magazine collection.

Leather Archives & Museum

  • Address: Leather Archives & Museum, 6418 N Greenview Ave., Chicago IL, 60626
  • You will need to contact the archivist to set up a research appointment in order to access the archival, periodical, audiovisual, or artifact collections. Check here for more details. 

The Leather Archives & Museum was founded by Chuck Renslow and Tony DeBlase in 1991 as a community archive, library, and museum of leather, kink, fetish, and BDSM history and culture.

Lesbian Herstory Archives

  • Address: LHEF, Inc., 484 14th Street, Brooklyn, New York, 11215
  • Some of the collections are available online.

The Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. They are located in Brooklyn.

LGBT Archive UK 

  • Available online. 
  • Organised along similar lines as Wikipedia.

Formerly the LGBT UK History Project, founded in June 2011. A collaborative venture to produce a comprehensive archive of LGBT people, places, events, and organisations in the UK from the earliest times to the present day.

LGBTQ Video Game Archive

  • Online archive. 
  • They are always on the look out for volunteers so if you think you could add something to this archive, check out here

Documenting the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content in games (currently digital but they hope to expand).

London School of Economics: LGBT Collections

  • Address: London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE
  • Check here for information on how to access the archives and special collections.

This collection contains primary source material mainly relating to gay and lesbian rights. One of the collection's strengths is in material relating campaigning from the late 1950s to the 1990s. LSE Library's main LGBT collection is called the Hall-Carpenter Archives in honour of Radclyffe Hall and Edward Carpenter, although there is no material relating to these two people in this archive.

Lothian Health Services Archive: Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard

  • Address: University of Edinburgh, 30 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ
  • Find details around access here.

At LHSA, they hold the archive for the Lothian Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, which includes material such as newspaper and magazine clippings, call logs, related research, promotional and fundraising material, correspondence and minutes. The Switchboard is worth celebrating, because it has protected and cared for LGBT+ people in the city for over forty years. When it was founded in 1974, the Switchboard’s primary function was to offer assistance and information to anyone who had experienced difficulties as a result of their own homosexuality or the homosexuality of a family member or other associate.

LGBT Magazine Archive

  • Online Archive 
  • Accessible via ProQuest 

This collection provides access to the archives of 26 of the most influential, longest-running serial publications covering LGBT interests. Includes the pre-eminent US and UK titles - The Advocate and Gay Times, respectively. Chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community.

National Library of Scotland: Guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) research resources

  • Address: National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EW

This guide gives an overview of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) material available in the National Library of Scotland's collections and elsewhere.

Old Bailey Online
  • Online archive that offers records from criminal trials held at London's central criminal court from 1674-1913. 

For the eighteenth century, this archive provides vibrant and detailed evidence of the worlds and subcultures of London's homosexual communities. Until the 1780s, trials for sodomy provide extensive accounts of the otherwise hidden world of molly houses and homosexual prostitution. After this point, the details of these trials are censored. The Old Bailey put together a guide that offers details on how to search the archive for instances of queer history and gives a little context for the language used.

ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

  • Address: ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, 909 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007
  • If you wish to visit the archive, you will need to schedule an appointment and register. Check here for more details.

This is the largest repositary of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) materials in the world. Founded in 1952, this archive currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organisational records, and personal papers.

Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers

  • Online archive of LGBTQ oral histories.

This archive aims to preserve LGBTQ history through collecting, archiving, and making widely available first-hand oral histories of LGBTQ people.

Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP)

  • Online archive.
  • Find details of how to navigate here.

This project was launched in November 2003 in an effort to preserve queer zines and make them available to queer individuals, researchers, historians, punks, and anyone who has an interest in DIY publishing and underground queer communities.

Queer Zine Library

  • A roaming mobile library that travels across the UK, taking up residence in community spaces.
  • The library goes on tour for 9 months of the year, and during the remaining 3 months the zines are in storage whilst the collections are catalogued. There is no access to the zines when they are in storage.
  • Check here for details of where the Library is touring.
  • Whilst they don't digitise the zines in their collection, they do use the catalogue to highlight any zines in the library which are also free to read online. Check here for more details.

Queer Zine Library collect queer zines from within the UK and tour with them in a mobile library. When they are on tour you can use the library catalogue to see where the zines are at any given time.

Not sure where to start? Browse through some of the highlights of the library using these keywords: Queer punk, Mental Health, Relationships, Sex, History, Interviews, LGBT Spaces, Coming out.

rukus! Black, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (BLGBT) cultural archive

  • Available from the London Metropolitan Archives.
    • Address: 40 Northampton Rd, Farringdon, London, EC1R 0HB
  • Need to book via the website to access. 

Launched by rukus! Federation Limited in 2005 and deposited within the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) in 2010. This archive documents the Black LGBT communities contribution and lived experience in London, the UK and internationally. Cataloguing was achieved through a three-year volunteer project hosted at LMA 2011-2014.

 The National Archives 

  • Address: Bessant Dr, Kew, Richmond, TW9 4DU
  • The link above provides access to a research guide that can help researchers look for sexuality and gender identity history within The National Archives. 
    • This resource is also very helpful for navigating the language used in the majority of UK historical archives regarding LGBTQ+ identities. 

This guide suggests potentially useful documents and search terms that can help you find records relating to sexuality and gender identity history.

The National Archives' records give insight into how government interested with and viewed LGBTQ+ communities in the past. The state's attempts to suppress and regulate sexuality and gender has left many potential sources for finding out the experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

University of Victoria: Transgender Archives

  • Address: UVic Library, Victoria, BC V8P 3E6, Canada
  • Check here for details on access and visiting.
  • They also have a free to download book titled The Transgender Archives: Foundations for the Future that details some of the history of trans activism and research, how the Transgender Archives got started, and some highlights from the collection. 

This archive is committed to the preservation of the history of pioneering activists, community leaders, and researchers who have contributed to the betterment of trans, nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and other gender-diverse people.

From 2018-2020 West Yorkshire Queer Stories collected stories about LGBTIQ+ life, from the everyday to the extraordinary. They interviewed people from across the region to make sure that LGBTIQ+ voices were captured and conserved as part of local history.