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LGBTQIA+ collections in the Manuscripts and Archives division: Introduction to the Guide


  • Personal Papers: chronicle all or part of an individuals social, familial, academic, or professional life. They often include microhistories of lived experience by persons affected by or part of movements of social and political change.
  • Organizational records: documents related to the activities of an organizational entity that often include membership to operational papers.
  • Periodicals: serials published regularly that related to LGBTQ history
  • Audiovisual materials: sound recordings and moving image materials.
  • Digital collections: archival objects available through NYPL's digital collections web portal.
  • More at NYPL: more resources at other NYPL divisions and research centers.
  • External resources: important resources available through other institutions.


This research guide provides an introduction to collections of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer studies held by the Manuscripts and Archives division of the New York Public Library. The division holds over 100 collections related to LGBTQIA+ history and culture as well as the AIDS/HIV epidemic.

It provides an entry point into personal collections of individual stories, from performers to authors and soldiers, as well as records of organizations that engaged with communities from the early-20th century through the present day.

The guide also includes information on how to create a Special Collections Account and request materials to view in the Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room.


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Michelle Mccarthy-Behler
Manuscript, Archives, and Rare books divisions

The Manuscripts and Archives Division at NYPL

Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room for Rare Books and Manuscripts

Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room
for Rare Books and Manuscripts

The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books
Third Floor, Room 328