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.

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.

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 activities around the Pride movement in New South Wales leading up to Sydney WorldPride 2023.

Manuscripts

The collections of unpublished material, including letters, personal papers, diaries and pictorial material, encompass individuals, community organisations, political groups and social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.

Eresources

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

LGBTQI+ eresources

Access online full-text journals, magazines, ebooks, newspapers, in the subject area LGBTQI+.

LGBTQ+ Source

Full-text journals, magazines and newspapers, including classics such as The Ethics of Sexual Orientation Research, Handbook of Research with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Populations, Queer Theory & Social Change

Archives of Sexuality & Gender

An international collection of LGBTQI+ publications including significant content from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (AGLA). 

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

Coming Out in the 70s

Gay and lesbian life went public in the 70s. Speaking up and standing out, gay men and women took to the streets proudly demanding to be seen, heard and accepted. This online exhibition draws from stories and records in the Library’s collection.  

Garry Wotherspoon oral history interviews with gay men and women are online

Interviews with gay men and women conducted by Garry Wotherspoon between 1980 and 1988 are available online in Amplify.

'Demonstrations were our internet'

Fifty years after the first gay rights organisation was founded in NSW, the activism of the 1970s still resonates.

Saving all that glitters

While busily preparing for the Library’s new exhibition Coming Out in the 70s conservators were confronted with a rather unusual dilemma.

Learning activities

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. 

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.