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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies: Archives & Library Collections

Queer Theory

Queer Theory: A Rough Introduction (courtesy of University of Illinois at Urbana) - Queer theory’s origin is hard to clearly define, since it came from multiple critical and cultural contexts, including feminism, post-structuralist theory, radical movements of people of color, the gay and lesbian movements, AIDS activism, many sexual subcultural practices such as sadomasochism, and postcolonialism.

Although queer theory had its beginnings in the educational sphere, the cultural events surrounding its origin also had a huge impact. Activist groups pushed back in the 1980's against the lack of government intervention after the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic. Gay activist groups like ACT-UP and Queer Nation took the lead to force attention to both the AIDS epidemic and the gay and lesbian community as a whole. These groups helped define the field with the work they did by highlighting a non-normative option to the more traditional identity politics and marginal group creations.

Helmers, Matthew. "Queer Theory." In The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, edited by Michael Ryan. Wiley, 2011. Retrieved from Credo Reference. "is produced by The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS), located at the City University of New York Graduate Center." It currently contains well over 600 entries on various aspects of LGBT History. - " provides you with the best online resources integrated with the best visual and textual resources in Queer Culture, Queer Theory, Queer Studies, Gender Studies and related fields." As of 2015, reading as "Still Under Construction."

Reports & Publications

Reports and Studies from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Human Rights Campaign Publications

Lambda Legal publishes an assortment of booklets; tool kits; brochures; short material on cases, issues and campaigns;

Archives & Library Collections

and more:

ACT UP Oral History Project - "is a collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. The project is coordinated by Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman, with camera work by James Wentzy (in New York) and S. Leo Chiang (on the West Coast.)...The purpose of this project is to present comprehensive, complex, human, collective, and individual pictures of the people who have made up ACT-UP/New York."

AIDS Education Posters - University of Rochester. More than 1,300 posters documenting the AIDS education and informing of the public campaign from 1982 to the present. There are more than 60 countries and over 100 languages represented in these posters.

American Women via the American Memory Project of the Library of Congress. The site contains a slightly expanded and fully searchable version of the print publication American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2001). The guide has been redesigned for online use, with added illustrations and links to existing digitized material located throughout the Library of Congress Web site.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender:LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 - presents important aspects of LGBTQ life in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond. 

Digital Transgender Archive - an international collaboration among more than fifty colleges, universities, nonprofit organizations, public libraries, and private collections of digitized historical materials, digital materials in general, and information on archival holdings across the world.

Lavender Legacies Guide- This is the first formal and comprehensive guide to primary source material relating to the history and culture of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered (LBGT) people held by repositories in North America. Developed by the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists.

Lesbian Herstory Archives - "home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities."

LGBT Religious Archives Network - The LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN) is an innovative venture in preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) religious movements around the world.  With oral histories, exhibitions, and more.

NYPL Gay & Lesbian/AIDS & HIV Collections - This Division holds approximately forty collections pertaining to the history and culture of gay men and lesbians, and to the history of the AIDS/HIV epidemic."

The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives - "ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives houses the world's largest research library on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered heritage and concerns."

Rainbow History Project - Archival resources from Washington, D.C.'s GLBTQ community.