Australian records and archives

Records of women and lesbian, gay, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people have historically been more difficult to find (if they exist at all) in cultural heritage institutions, so you have to dig deeper in the archives and may not find a great deal. 

LGBTIQ community history projects and archives are good way to get a fuller idea of life for LGBTIQ people than the glimpses provided by legal, health and other public records.

The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (established in 1978) is the biggest repository of historical materials about lesbian and gay experience in Australia and the most prominent research centre for LGBTIQ history in Australia. 

Banner for Gay Pride Week, unknown designer, c. 1973. from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives collection

Banner for Gay Pride Week, unknown designer, c. 1973.

 

Source: Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (used with permission).

University of Melbourne Archives

Access the University of Melbourne Archives 

Not all records are online, but they have a lot of finding aids and research guides online which will help you plan your visit.

Given the way they are organised browsing is often most useful way to find them and will also help you identify key people, organisations and contexts.

Browse by Creator's Name and a particular letter - for example: L for lesbian groups, G for gay groups, W for women's groups.

Select 'View Creator Records'

Browse Creator's activity or occupation and  select a relevant activity or occupation - for example: Women's rights activists.

Select View Creators 

Browse list of creators (including individuals and organisations) and select View Creator Records once you have found one you are interested in. 

Other women's and feminist archives

Australian special collections

Image of La Trobe University Lesbian and Gay Men's Coming Out Party

Source: La Trobe University Gay Society. 1984. MS International Vertical Files from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives ID: 8197. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Archives of Sexuality & Gender, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/5WsAJ4. Accessed 14 Dec. 2017.

Photograph of a poster : silkscreen print on white paper. The artist comments on society's practice of giving names and applying labels to people so that behaviours and identities are constructed.

Source: dyke, poof, lezzo, queer [picture] by Angela Bailey (1997), State Library of Victoria

 

 

Small round badge with metallic silver back and lockable pin and plastic face. Face contains black background, rainbowed peace symbol and white dove.

Source: Badge - Peace Symbol with Dove (c. 1980) by Deborah Tout-Smith,
Museums VictoriaCC BY 4.0
 
 

Reason In Revolt: Source Documents of Australian Radicalism 

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) archives and special collections

Share resources and tips for unearthing LGBTIQ+ histories

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