Other New York City-Area Archives

New York City is home to several other world-class archives that hold invaluable collections bearing on the history of sexuality. Many of the following archives include collections that complement the holdings at Columbia and Barnard.

Lesbian Herstory Archives

The Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA), founded in 1975 and based in Brooklyn, holds the world's largest collection of materials by and about Lesbians and their communities. Highlights of its holdings include the organizational records of groups such as the Salsa Soul Sisters and Lesbian Avengers; an immense collection of lesbian pulp novels; an extensive collection of subject files and geographical files with newspaper clippings, newsletters, and flyers organized by location; videos of marches and DYKE TV episodes; recordings of oral history interviews and lesbian events; books; periodicals; posters and graphics; personal papers; and digital collections.

Location: 484 14 St (between 8th Ave and Prospect Park West), Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
Research Hours: Check the calendar to confirm dates and times they will be open for research visits.
For more information: LHA can be reached by email at lesbianherstoryarchives@gmail.com or by phone at (718) 768-DYKE.

New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division

The NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives Division holds over 29,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives in over 5,500 collections. Its  extraordinarily rich Gay and Lesbian Collections and HIV/AIDS Collections include the papers of the Mattachine Society of New York (1955-1987), Gay Activists Alliance (1969-1981), Gay Switchboard (1971-1997), Gay Men’s Health Crisis (1982-), Gran Fury (1988-1994), People With AIDS Coalition (1985-1993), ACT UP/NY (1987-), Women’s Action Coalition (1992-1995); literary journals such as Christopher Street (1976-1982); a vast array of LGBT newspapers from across the globe; and the personal papers of gay activists, writers, historians, and many ordinary New Yorkers who died from AIDS.

Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328; Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY
Research Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:45 PM
For more information: Fill out the online form to request access or contact a research librarian.

NYPL Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. The Schomburg’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division holds the papers of organizations such as Gay Men of African Descent and the Other Countries literary collective; interviews conducted between 2004-13 for the StoryCorps Black LGBTQ Archive; and black queer writers, performers, and activists such as James Baldwin, Storme DeLarverie, Essex Hemphill, Reginald Harris, and others.

Location: 515 Malcolm X Boulevard (at 135th St), Second Floor; Harlem, New York, NY
Research Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday, 12:00 PM – 5:45 PM; Thursday – Saturday, 10:00 AM – 5:45 PM
For more information: use this form to contact a Schomburg librarian or call (212) 491-2224.

NYPL Library for the Performing Arts

The NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts houses several world-class archival collections. The Billy Rose Theater Division, one of the world’s largest archives devoted to the theatrical arts, holds personal papers and organizational records, scrapbooks, photographs, posters, programs, reviews, scripts, extensive subject files on individual performers, theaters, productions, and theatrical groups, and the Theatre on Film and Tape (TOFT) Archive. The Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the most comprehensive archive in the world devoted to the documentation of dance, holds the personal papers of numerous dancers and choreographers, manuscript collections, moving image and audio recordings, clippings and program files, and original prints and designs. The Music Division is one of the world's preeminent music collections, including books and periodicals, scores and sheet music, clippings and programs, iconography and visual materials, and archival collections. These divisions contain the papers of numerous queer composers, choreographers, playwrights, performers, and performing arts figures, including Jerome Robbins, Lincoln Kirstein, Merce Cunningham, and Montgomery Clift.

Location: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center; 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th St and Columbus Ave), Third Floor; New York, NY
Research Hours: Monday and Thursday, 10:30 AM – 8 PM; Tuesday – Wednesday and Friday – Saturday, 10:30 AM–6 PM
For more information: for the Billy Rose Theatre Division: contact a librarian or call (212) 870-1639; for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division: contact a librarian or call (212) 870-1657; for the Music Division: contact a librarian or call (212) 870-1625.

 

LGBT Community Center National History Archive

The LGBT Community Center National History Archive preserves the history and heritage of the LGBT community in New York City and beyond. Founded in 1990, the archive contains material from 1920 through the present day, including the records of Heritage of Pride (1984-2004), the 1979 and 1987 Marches on Washington, Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York (1980-90), the Lesbian Switchboard (1972-97), the Greater Gotham Business Council (1976-91), Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (1973-2000), Lesbian and Gay Teachers Association of New York (1974-2006), Dignity New York (1966-97), and other organizations; the personal papers of activists such as Richard Burns, Michael Callen, Joyce Hunter, and Marty Robinson, cultural figures such as Jackie Curtis and Rollerena Fairy Godmother, and many ordinary gay men who died from AIDS; the How to Survive a Plague collection of 67 VHS tapes and DVDs of AIDS-related demonstrations, meetings, TV shows, and home videos; several important collections of photographs; books; and newspapers and other publications.

Location: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, 208 W 13 St, New York, NY
Research Hours: by appointment only.
For more information: contact archive@gaycenter.org.

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University

The Tamiment Institute Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives document labor history, the history of socialist, anarchist, communist and other radical and left-wing political movements, the Cold War, and Irish-American history. A number of collections pertain to feminism, gender, and sexuality, including personal papers from activists such as anarchist sex radical Emma Goldman and transgender advocate Pauline Park; organizational records from groups such as abortion rights advocates WHAM! (Women's Health Action and Mobilization), the Lesbian and Gay Labor Network, and Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York; and oral histories with LGBT labor activists.

Location: NYU Bobst Library, 10th floor; 70 Washington Square South (on the southeast corner of Washington Square Park), New York, NY.
Research Hours: closed until September 2, 2019; visit the Tamiment Library and Wagner Archives website for current hours.
For more information: visit the Planning Your Visit page, or contact Tamiment staff by email at tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu or by phone at (212) 998-2630.

Fales Library Special Collections, New York University

The Fales Library & Special Collections houses over 350,000 volumes of books and print materials and more than 11,000 linear feet of archives. Important holdings include the Downtown Collection, documenting the innovative arts scene that evolved in SoHo and the Lower East Side in the 1970s-1990s, which includes the papers of queer writers and artists such as Dennis Cooper, Gary Indiana, and David Wojnarowicz; and the Riot Grrl Collection, documenting the evolution of the do-it-yourself feminist political and cultural movement from 1989-96 through collections of musicians, artists, ‘zine writers, and activists.

Location: NYU Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South (on the southeast corner of Washington Square Park), New York, NY.
Research Hours: visit the Fales Library & Special Collections website for current hours.
For more information: contact Fales staff by email at fales.library@nyu.edu or by phone at (212) 998-2596.

Museum of the City of New York Collections

The Museum of the City of New York “fosters understanding of the distinctive nature of urban life in the world’s most influential metropolis” by “celebrating, documenting, and interpreting the city’s past, present, and future.” In addition to the collections on display, the museum holds a variety of archival collections available to researchers as well as substantial digital collections. Holdings of interest include the Collection on AIDS and Public Health, the papers of queer Asian-America artist Martin Wong, and others.

Location: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd St), New York, NY
Research Hours: by appointment only.
For more information: see MCNY’s Research Policies, or email research@mcny.org or call (917) 492-3399.