LGBTQ Librarians and Archivists
Libraries and archives are vital repositories of information and resources on the history and needs of a community. The LGBTQ community is unique in its history, and it relies on these institutions to preserve and present that history in an accessible, educational, and inspirational way.
Many of the individuals who have created or manage these institutions have a rich background in the LGBTQ community. Often they have been activists themselves. Some are strictly academic in their focus. Others are writers of notable books and articles which chronicle the development of the LGBTQ community both locally and internationally.
The needs of the LGBTQ community for the resources of libraries and archives evolve with the development of the community itself. In the early years they tend to be locally focused and organized. However, as the rights of the LGBTQ community become entrenched, national cultural and educational institutions and organizations develop separate task forces, staff groups, catalogues, exhibitions, collections, and repositories focused specifically on LGBTQ material.
Of course, not all LGBTQ individuals in this profession focus solely on the needs of the LGBTQ community. Many have wide expertise applied to large organizations.
A current challenge for libraries and archives is the decline of printing and publishing around the world. A particular aspect to this challenge is the rise of social media and its use in the organization and documentation of a community. Capturing this social media activity is a particular concern.
To accommodate this change, many libraries and archives are turning to digital recording and preservation of materials. This works to the benefit of researchers and the general public because it allows for online access to historical and contemporary documents relevant to the individual’s field of study.
We have identified a number of LGBTQ individuals, either historically or today, who work on the development of libraries and archives:
- Kevin Allen - resident historian, Calgary Public Library
- Timothy Naftali - Director of the Tamiment Library at New York University; former Director, Richard Nixon Presidential Library
- Robert Windrum - President, Canadian Gay & Lesbian Archives
- Wilhelm von Rosen - Senior Researcher, Danish National Archives, and LGBTQ historian
- Claudie Lesselier - Lesbian Cultural Research Archives
- Adrienne Monnier - founded La Maison des Amis des Livres bookstore
- Dawn Airey - media expert and Board Member, The British Library
- Robert Thompson- Chair, Lesbian & Gay Newsmedia Archives
- Rafael Arevalo Martinez - Director, Guatemala National Library
- Pope Sixtus IV - founder of the Vatican Library and Vatican Archives
- Graeme Reid - Founding Director, Gay & Lesbian Archives of South Africa
- Sylvia Woodbridge Beach - founded Shakespeare & Co, a lending library
- Holly Crenshaw - library and information technology services department of Emory University
- Madeline Davis - Founder, GLBT Archives of Western New York
- L.S. Alexander Gumby, archivist of the Harlem Renaissance
- Joseph Hawkins - Director of the ONE Archives, the largest LGBTQ collection in the world
- Jeannette Howard Foster - librarian and professor in lesbian literature
- Harlan Greene - Head of Special Collections, Addlestone Library
- James Hormel - established the J.C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library
- Jamie Ann Lee - Project Director/Archivist for the Arizona Queer Archives
- Joan Nestle - Co-Founder, Lesbian Herstory Archives
- Jennifer Pritzker - founded Pritzker Military Library
- LGBTQ Curators at Museums and Art Galleries
- LGBTQ Leaders in Higher Education
- Academics Specializing in the History of the LGBTQ Community
- Queer Theorists
- Literary Critics and Editors Who Identify as LGBTQ