Largest LGBT library resource coming to USC

first_imgUSC received the world’s largest library collection concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender research from the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives this week.The archive is the largest of its kind in the nation, with 60,000 items including books, magazines, videos, drawings and 600 linear feet of archives.According to Greg Williams, vice president of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, the collection consists of primary resources such as documents, organizational papers, diaries and personal papers. The university is well-equipped to handle the archives, he said.“We felt that an institute with a long-term presence would be able to make it more accessible to the USC community, the community at large and the LGBT community,” Williams said. “[It is] more advantageous to be associated with a larger institution.”The ONE organization has been associated with USC for almost 15 years, Williams said, and it moved into a USC-owned building in the early 2000s. Williams said ONE and USC had agreed that ONE would loan the archives but still own them.After many years in which the collection grew with the support of many grants, ONE realized that what they had was so overwhelming that the collection would benefit from being in the care of a larger institution, he said.The archives are full of publications that reflect gay culture in not only Los Angeles but also other parts of the world.According to Catherine Quinlan, dean of USC libraries, the archive contains almost everything pertaining to LGBT history and influence.“It’s a remarkable collection — the diversity of it is really amazing,” Quinlan said. “[It] ties together all the LGBT material worldwide.”There are more than 6,000 LGBT titles of magazines and periodicals dating back to the late ’50s and early ’70s, including archives from people who are prominent in the LGBT community and have had an impact, such as former member of the Board of Supervisors Harvey Milk. The archive contains campaign materials from his election and a collection of campaign buttons.The collection also includes art that USC will not take.Papers of Jim Kepner,  one of the original founders of ONE, are also in the collection. There are about 150 to 200 archival collections with papers and original documents from important figures.“I think what’s really interesting is that we have an enormous reservoir of early periodicals,” Williams said. “We have a complete sets of [ONE] Magazine, and it was the first homosexual magazine.”There are also early photos from The Advocate, an LGBT magazine.By donating the collection to USC, the collection will be protected for a long time, he said. It will stay at its current location at 909 West Adams Blvd. and will still have the support of ONE.Quinlan also said that the organization was looking for a place that would use the collections. Various departments — including anthropology, gender studies and other programs — will utilize the collection for teaching and research purpose. “I encourage students to come down and see the collection and see how extensive it is,” Williams said. “We have everything from photographs in a scrapbook to the sheet music early cross-dressers used in the early 20th century.”Emily Allen, the president of the Queer and Ally Student Assembly, said the ONE institute was a great organization for LGBT resources.“The availability of the resources will encourage people to check it out,” Allen said. “I think it definitely shows that our school has an interest for this.”last_img read more