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LGBTQ+ Resources in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress

Personal papers of prominent individuals and records of organizations provide important resources for the research of LGBTQ+ history and related topics. The Library’s Manuscript Division collects and provides access to a wide variety of these collections.

Introduction

The Manuscript Division is the section of the Library that preserves, arranges, and makes available for research historically significant personal papers and organizational records that have been donated to the Library.

This guide serves as an introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and other related (LGBTQ+) resources available in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Please note that this guide is not intended to be comprehensive, but is a curated list of related collections. Included, for example, are the collections of prominent figures such as Frank Kameny, Walt Whitman, and Truman Capote; descriptions of pertinent records of organizations such as the American Psychological Association, League of Women Voters, and NAACP; and collections relevant to certain topics, such as Supreme Court cases, legal matters, and HIV and AIDS.

Please note: This guide has been compiled in part with the use of secondary sources and other references. The Library of Congress and the Manuscript Division takes no position and makes no suggestions about the sexuality, relationships, or other personal matters of individuals whose collections are in the custody of the Library.

How to Use this Guide

This guide references collections of personal papers and organizational records that contain materials related to LGBTQ+ topics. Collections are listed under the "LGBTQ+ Manuscript Collections" page and are organized by general topic. Each page includes links to catalog records for individual collections. On each catalog record, find more information about the collection. Many collections have a finding aid linked from the record. The finding aid provides a description of the content and arrangement of the collection. Please see the "How to Use Finding Aids" page for more information. When a collection has been made available online, a link to the digital collection may be found in the finding aid and catalog record. Collections not available online are accessible in the Manuscript Reading Room.

Attention: All researchers are advised to contact the Manuscript Reading Room prior to visiting. Many collections are stored off-site, or may have access restrictions, and advance notice is needed to retrieve these items for research use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the division's collections are strongly encouraged to write the Manuscript Reading Room via the Ask a Librarian form or email at mss@loc.gov to inquire about the status of collections of interest.