LGBTQ Initiative

Gay Liberation Front marches on Times Square, New York City, 1969. Photo by Diana Davies. Manuscripts and Archives Division.

The LGBTQ Initiative was created to connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities with the wide array of resources, services, and expertise that The New York Public Library has to offer. New Yorkers and communities around the world can engage with a variety of offerings—from archives of international importance, exciting programs with major scholars, artists, and activists, and outreach to LGBTQ communities of all ages and backgrounds. Donate to support the LGBTQ Initiative today.

Image: Gay Liberation Front marches on Times Square, New York City, 1969. Photo by Diana Davies. Manuscripts and Archives Division.

The Library's LGBTQ Collections

The New York Public Library has one of the premier collections of LGBTQ history in the world. The Library also intensively collects the social history of the AIDS crisis, which has so disastrously impacted LGBTQ communities.

These collections include the published record of both academic and popular literature, rare books, little magazines, historic newspapers, and major archives. There are at least 100,000 volumes and over 300 archival collections—containing hundreds of thousands of letters, manuscripts, photographs, posters, and other items—as well as numerous audio/visual materials of LGBTQ-related materials. Other highlights include the One Archive; the National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History; and the Lesbian Herstory Archives, among many other important collections. Explore the collections.

How to Support

When you donate to the 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.

Your contribution will also make you a Friend of the Library, and you'll enjoy special benefits such as discounted tickets and exclusive invitations to member events.

Donate Today

Or, make your check payable to NYPL-LGBTQ and mail to:

LGBTQ Initiative
The New York Public Library
445 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Learn More

Exhibitions

The Library continues to host exhibitions of LGBTQ materials. In 2019, the Library marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with an exhibition, Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50.

In addition, Becoming Visible: The Legacy of Stonewall was the largest and most extensive display of lesbian and gay history ever mounted in a museum or gallery space when it opened in 1994. A follow-up publication, Becoming Visible: An Illustrated History of Lesbian and Gay Life in Twentieth-Century America, by exhibition curators Molly McGarry and Fred Wasserman, was published by Penguin Studio. More recent examples include Particular Voices: Robert Giard's Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers; Bedlam Days: The Early Plays of Charles Ludlam and The Ridiculous Theatrical Company; and Vaslav Nijinsky: Creating a New Artistic Era.

Programs

The Library offers LGBTQ-related programming across our branches and research centers, including author talks, lectures, public conversations, films, and musical performances. Guests have included Edmund White, George Chauncey, Taylor Mac, Cheryl Clarke, Anthony de Mare, and Charles Busch among many others. Discover upcoming programs.

PLUS! Check out book recommendations, blog posts from our librarians, and more.

 


 

Support for the LGBTQ collections is provided by the Magnus Hirschfeld Endowment Fund. Initial funding of the LGBTQ Initiative provided by Time Warner Inc., with additional support from M.A.C. AIDS Fund; Arcus Foundation; and Friends of the LGBTQ Initiative. The Martin Duberman Visiting Scholars are funded by the generous support of Martin Duberman and Eli Zal.