Conducting Research with the Library
The Library provides free access to our world-renowned collections to all scholars, students, writers, and creators—both in person and online. See what the Library has to offer!
- Access LGBTQ+ collections digitally
- Stonewall and Beyond: Researching LGBTQ History with NYPL's Online Resources
- Search the research catalog
LGBTQ+ Collections in the Manuscripts and Archives Division
These research guides provide an introduction to collections of LGBTQ+ studies held by the Manuscripts and Archives division of the New York Public Library. The division holds over 100 collections related to LGBTQ+ history and culture as well as the AIDS/HIV epidemic. The guides provide an entry point into the personal collections of people in the queer community, records of LGBTQ+ organizations from the early 20th century through the present day, and more.
Explore the papers, archives, and collections of Black LGBTQ+ people housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. These archival collections span from the early 1920s into the 21st century and document the lives of activists, writers, performers, and organizations.
Explore publications about LGBTQ+ Jewish people, thought, and history—from scholarly and critical works to personal stories and community anthologies.
The Stonewall Riots were a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history, expanding the gay civil rights movement from a handful of pioneering activists to a national movement mobilizing millions. Learn more by exploring our research guide, created in 2019 as a companion to the Library's major exhibition on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50.
In 2020, the Library added thousands of images by the photographer and artist Diana Davies to our Digital Collections, including underseen and alternate views of 1960s and 1970s New York LGBTQ+ activism. These photographs are significant in their own right as a pictorial history of LGBTQ+ political activism. They also provide an entry point to a media history of the fight for social justice.
The Library houses hundreds of the photos and papers of gay civil rights pioneers and activists Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, including images that document the gay rights movement before and after the Stonewall Riots.
The Library’s collection of Robert Giard’s beautiful photographic portraits includes over 200 images of leading LGBTQ+ writers, including Allen Ginsberg, Adrienne Rich, Quentin Crisp, Sapphire, Vito Russo, and Joy Harjo.
The Carl Van Vechten Slides collection contains approximately 2,800 color slides of dancers (primarily ballet) photographed by Carl Van Vechten in his studio, from 1940 to 1964.
Pride Pioneers: Explore NYPL’s LGBTQ+ Collections on Bloomberg Connects
Explore a selection of principal materials in the Library’s collections that unearth legacies of New York-based transgender activists of color, including Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and others. Compiled in honor of Mother LaTravious Collins, founder of the Brooklyn Ghost Project.
The Gay Switchboard of New York was founded in 1971 to safely and privately provide callers with information about queer-friendly establishments, and to allow for open discussions about sexuality and queer identity. Learn more about the switchboard and explore its records through the Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division.
When you donate to NYPL's LGBTQ Initiative, you provide critical funds to help the Library build, preserve, and increase access to its LGBTQ collections not only for New Yorkers, but for people across the country and around the world.