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Freely Accessible Digital Collections: LGBTQ+ Studies Research Guide

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Table of Contents

LGBTQ+ Resources by Format:

LGBTQ+ Studies Research Guide Home

These resources are freely available online, anywhere with an internet connection. The collections are not affiliated with the Library of Congress and their inclusion here is for informational purposes only, and do not constitute endorsement or favoritism.

Libraries, Archives, and Historical Societies

Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943, when Allen Tate was Consultant in Poetry. It contains nearly two thousand recordings—of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory.
American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, provides the public with access to a collection of American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s.

Featured AAPB Program:

  • The Homosexual in Our Society: Part 1  
    This recording from 1958 – The earliest known radio recording to overtly discuss homosexuality - features Public Affairs Director of KPFA Elsa Knight Thompson interviewing Hal Call, the editor of the Mattachine Review; Dr. Blanche Baker, a psychologist noted for her then-rarely-shared belief that homosexuality was not an abnormality nor an illness; and Leah Gailey, the mother of a gay man.
  • The Homosexual in Our Society: Part 2 

Elsa Knight Thompson moderates a second panel discussion focusing on laws regarding homosexuals, civil rights of homosexuals, identification of homosexuals, gender identification in society, possible causes of sexual choice, i.e. heredity versus environmental causes, and how society can constructively deal with these issues.

Handbook of Latin American Studies Online (HLAS).
The Handbook is a bibliography on Latin America consisting of works selected and annotated by scholars. Edited by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, the multidisciplinary Handbook alternates annually between the social sciences and the humanities. Each year, more than 130 academics from around the world choose over 5,000 works for inclusion in the Handbook.
Rainbow History Online Archive
This local DC group preserves and shares the rich history of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities in the greater metropolitian area of Washington, D.C. Some collection highlights include Friends Radio Program Records, the Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Papers, Black & White Men Together, , and the Gay Businesses and Venues Collection.
Queer Zine Archive Project
Through the self-publication of zines, LGBTQ+ identified individuals and communities have found an alternative mode of knowledge production and information sharing. These publications provide uncensored first hand narratives, and as such, constitute unique and invaluable research tools. Take a look at this phenomenal collection of digitized LGBTQ+, feminist, and social justice related zines. Dowloading options available.

Veterans History Project, Speaking Out: LGBT Veterans.
A curated selection of oral histories from LGBT veterans and service members.
African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project
Documenting the struggle against HIV and AIDS in black communities.
Digital Transgender Archive
The Digital Transgender Archive offers a wide-ranging collection of trans-related materials. You can take advantage of the advanced search features, or browse by collection.
Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony
The Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony collects and makes available the oral histories of people who presently or at one time identified as same-sex and same-gender attracted women.
Lesbian Herstory Archives
Founded in the 1970s, the Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities.
GLBT Historical Society
Search through the digital audio collections to find recordings from the Randy Alfred The Gay Life radio series (1973–1984) and the Kevin Burke Fruit Punch recordings (1975–1979). While many of their archival materials aren't available online, you can still search their catalog to determine what materials they have available. They also offer research guides to various collections, such as Butch and Femme Identities, The Radical Faeries, and the East Bay.
Digital Transgender Archive
The Digital Transgender Archive offers a wide-ranging collection of trans-related materials. You can take advantage of the advanced search features, or browse by collection.
Act Up Oral History Interviews
A collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. The interviews are listed in chronological order. Each interview has a corresponding transcript available to download as a PDF.
GLAA Archive
Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC (GLAA) is an all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization that defends the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Nation's Capital.
NYPL LGBT+ Digital Collections
Includes items in a variety of formats. Notable collections include Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen Gay History Papers and Photographs, Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, and The Emilio Sanchez Private Sketches.
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives
Founded in 1952, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives is one of the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. The digital collection is a sample of the archives holdings, and includes resources in a wide-variety of formats.

Scholarly Journals and Periodicals

Independent Voices: An Open Access Collection of an Alternative Press
This collection contains over 387,828 pages of independent alternative press, dating from the 1960s-1980s. This collection includes freely digitized versions of a number of publications dealt with LGBTQ+ issues and themes. Some examples include: Off Our Backs, The Furies Lesbian/Feminist Month, and The Lesbian Tide.
Transgender Online
A peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to addressing healthcare issues of Transgender individuals, their communities, and families.
Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology
Publication of this Australian journal began in 2005 and continues today.
Digital Library of Georgia Southern Voice Newspaper
Publication of this LGBT+ newspaper began in 1988. The mission of this paper was to provide a means of communication among LGBTQ+ individuals and communities in the wake of the AIDS crisis.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons
Free, Full-text access to scholarly articles, dissertations, book chapters and more, provided by hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. Curated by university librarians and their supporting institutions.
Open Access LGBTQ+ Journals from Harrington Park Press
In it's Beta stage, this page provides a list of open-access scholarly publications by subject.

Freely Available from the Library of Congress

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  May 31, 2017
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