Largest digital archive of LGBT history now online
The largest digital archive on LGBT history and culture, the Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, has been placed online.
The archive was released by Gale, a library resource provider of Cengage Learning, in partnership with the New York Public Library, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and other collection-holders around the country and the world.
The largest collection of LGBT history
A milestone digital program that brings together the largest collection of primary source content on gender, sexuality and identity, the digital archive is a collective effort by the said partners to make researching and experiencing queer history easier for everyone.
“This archive demonstrates the unique content that only Gale is bringing to researchers. It shines a light on the important personal stories that provide a more complete picture of our history,” said Pail Gazzalo, senior vice president and general manager for Gale.
“By providing access to this information, we hope that it promotes greater understanding, tolerance and appreciation for individual rights,” Gazzalo said.
The digitalization work is currently being completed in stages.
The first part, LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, already comprises about 1.5 million pages of searchable content. Future installments will likely take on earlier time periods.
The current materials cover personal correspondence and interviews with numerous LGBTQ individuals, organizational papers, government documents, manuscripts, pamphlets, and other types of primary resources.
Likewise, the archive covers social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, including the gay rights movement and the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Online access for everyone
Prior to the launch of the archive, this type of information was only available in places like the New York Public Library’s LGBT collection.
Moreover, you would need to be students, scholars, or history buffs in order to access this type of information. Most would not be fortunate to get this type of access.
With access to this resource, people curious about LGBT history and culture can now immerse themselves in much more richer and inspiring material than they might otherwise have encountered.
There is a fee to access the information though you can also request a free trial use. However, the importance of individuals having access to these materials cannot be overstated.
For many queer people, looking up what is a homosexual or transgender at the library is a first step to self-knowledge.
More importantly, this material is now given its proper place within academia and is digitally preserved.
It can be used in scholarship, as well as supporting research and instruction in queer history and activism, psychology, sociology, political science, gender studies, and more.
Hopefully, it will also lead to new ideas and understanding of the LGBT community.