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LGBTQIA+ Studies: A Resource Guide

Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming

This page provides search strategies and a selection of recommended resources related to Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming research and histories.

Finding Trans and Gender Non-Conforming History in Historical Newspapers

Newspapers are one of the earliest resources for finding information related to trans and gender non-conforming histories. In the United States, Black newspapers began publishing this information years before more mainstream outlets.

Searching & Finding Materials

Christine Jorgensen.1953. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Browse the Library of Congress Online Catalog to locate relevant materials by subject:

Please note: The terminology used in both scholarly and popular texts varies widely over time and space. Terms that may seem inconsistent with modern definitions can be useful and often necessary when researching historical materials.

Search By Personal or Organization Name:

  • Maria Van (Dutch, 1719-1781). Served three times as a male soldier and twice married a woman.
  • Alan L. Hart, 1890-1962
  • Angela Douglas 1943-2007) and/or Transsexual Action Organization (TAO)
  • Havelock Ellis, 1859-1939
  • Reed Erickson (1917-1992) or Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF)
  • Langley Porter Institute
  • Louise Lawrence
  • Red Jordan
  • Seahorse Club (Australia)
  • Tiffany Club (Wayland, MA)
  • Hannah Snell

Historical Terms and Vernacular:

  • Eonism/Eonists
  • Androgyne

Library catalogs are themselves historical artifacts, representing the policies, practices, and language of the time period in which the catalog records were first created. As such, terms which are now considered outdated are often necessary to employ when doing historical research. For example, searching the catalog for "Transgender--Periodical" will only bring up more recent titles. For earlier works, try searching with the vernacular specific to that time period. For earlier Transgender Periodicals, for example, you might try searching under Transsexual--Periodicals.

To find additional periodicals, search the Library of Congress Online Catalog

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Frances Hook, also known as Private Frank Miller....1953. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

It can be hard to discern an individuals motivation for dressing or living as another gender. A common theme for early sources on individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) who lived or dressed as male are accounts of soldiers or sailors.

Search by Name:

  • Maria Van Antwerpen (1719-) See: De Bredasche Heldinne
  • Trijntje;Simons
  • Martigen Jans
  • Willempje Gerrits

Search by Organization, Company, or Location

  • East or West India Company

Find Articles on Chronicling America like: 

There are a number of additional (and older) sources in the non-English collections. Some of the earliest sources related to gender transition and gender non-conformity can be found in court cases and legal documents, newspapers, songs and folktales, and in published and unpublished books and manuscripts. Other sources for this information include military records and publications.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

Double bodied, both sexes..1938. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR)

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 to memorialize the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It was created by by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman and friend of Rita Hester.