LGBTQI+ collections

LGBTQI+ collections

LGBTQI+ collections

Explore highlights from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex collections

Building an inclusive collection

The Library’s LGBTQI+ collections are broad in scope, crossing subject areas such as history, queer and gender studies, women’s studies, literature, law, health and the social sciences.

The collections reflect the diversity of people in New South Wales and the Library is committed to creating an inclusive space where LGBTQI+ people feel welcome.

Explore library collections
At the Artists ball 1950 Sydney

Language changes over time

Only in recent years have LGBTQI+ communities been able to develop their own definitions of who they are and how they live. We recognise that the language and terminology used to describe LGBTQI+ people has often brought harm to these communities.

We use the acronym LGBTQI+ on these pages and acknowledge that other variations of this acronym are just as valid.

Discover LGBTQI+ stories
Photographs of marriage equality march and celebration, Oxford Street, Sydney, 15 November 2017 / by Joy Lai

Donate to the collection

The Library is acquiring material recording the experiences of individuals, businesses, clubs, and organisations from the LGBTQI+ community, relating to their personal lives and community activities in New South Wales, both contemporary and historical.

We are particularly interested in documenting activities and events in New South Wales associated with the Sydney WorldPride 2023 festival.

Donate to the collection


The collections of unpublished material, including letters, personal papers, diaries and pictorial material, encompass individuals, community organisations, political groups and social agencies within the LGBTQI+ communities in New South Wales.

Photographs & graphics

The photograph and graphics collections document political activism, the development of organisations and movements for legal rights and social acceptance, and the evolution of confident and energetic LGBTQI+ social scenes in New South Wales, illustrating the changes in social attitudes towards sexuality and identity in Australia.

Newspapers & magazines

Print media produced by and for LGBTQI+ communities grew substantially from the 1970s and into the 1980s, now considered a ‘golden era’ for Australian LGBTQI+ print media. Titles from these years include Camp Ink, Campaign, Lesbians on the Loose, William and John, Wicked Women, and Sydney Star Observer.

Books & ebooks

The Library's collection includes fiction, non-fiction and pulp fiction reprints of works by and about LGBTQI+ people, from the most popular publications through to rare and valuable editions. Select titles are also available to access online.


Online journals, magazines, newspapers, ebooks, audiobooks can be accessed with a Library card or a registered NSW public library card. 

Looking down onto the State Library of NSW Reading Room

LGBTQI+ eresources

Archives of Sexuality & Gender

Archives of Sexuality & Gender

Oral history, sound & film

The Library has a growing collection of oral histories, radio interviews, talks and podcasts, many of which are being digitised for access online. Eye-witness accounts help us understand the history of LGBTQI+ experience in New South Wales and redress the absence of LGBTQI+ voices in historical collections.

Related stories

  • State Library of NSW

Saving all that glitters

Working to preserve historic material isn’t always glamorous but sometimes there is glitter.


  • State Library of NSW
  • Exhibition
Terry Batterham marching with Sydney Gay Liberation, May Day march, 1974, photographed by Anne Roberts, Tribune negatives collection
  • State Library of NSW
  • Collection
Photo of Will by Bruce Carter

Sense of wonder

A high school student found surprising and poetic insights in interviews with gay men recorded in the 1980s.

  • State Library of NSW
  • Collection
John Englart photographs

Speaking his mind

A lifelong activist’s early diaries and photographs are a compelling record of grassroots activism in Sydney in the 1970s.

‘Monday 10th September, 1973: This is GAY PRIDE WEEK, I have come out.’

Today this might seem a simple declaration, but when 17-year-old John Englart pencilled these words into his diary 47 years ago in Sydney’s north-west suburbs, life for young people in Australia who were realising their same-sex attraction was astoundingly different.

Learning activities

  • Stage 5
  • English

Voices of resistance

Students will explore, analyse and evaluate the ways in which the online exhibition Coming out in the 70s represents aspects of human experience and social contexts. 

  • Stage 5
  • The emergence of the gay rights movement in the 1970s in response to growing civil rights movements globally.
  • History

Being seen and heard in the 70s

Using  the online exhibition Coming Out in the 70sstudents will think critically about the impact of the gay rights movement in Australia in the 1970s on current societal attitudes and beliefs about the LGBTIQ+ community.



Donate to the collection

The Library is interested in acquiring documents recording experiences of individuals, businesses, clubs, and organisations from the LGBTQI+ community. This includes both contemporary and historical material relating to personal lives and community activities in New South Wales. We are especially interested in activities around the Pride movement in New South Wales leading up to Sydney WorldPride 2023.