A Legacy of LGBTQ+ Activist

May 3, 2019

The University of Wisconsin–Madison contains oral histories, personal papers, photographs, ephemera and organizational records related to LGBTQ life in Madison and Dane County from the 1940s to today. Beginning with only a few oral histories, the collection has grown to include an increasingly diverse array of materials and voices from the LGBTQ community. To date, the archive includes a growing collection of local LGBTQ history, including diaries beginning in the 1950s, bar photos beginning in the 1960s, organizational records beginning in the 1970s, videos beginning in the 1980s, and items ranging from poetry, to political signs and posters, t-shirts, buttons, newspapers, and the collection is growing to reflect the diversity and complexity of the LGBTQ community.

To add your voice and story or if you have questions, please contact the UW–Madison Archives at 608-262-5629 or uwarchiv@library.wisc.edu. Visit our website to learn more cms.library.wisc.edu/archives. Be a part of the record and consider contributing your:

  • Unpublished materials like letters, diaries, and scrapbooks
  • Records of community organizations, businesses, and local political campaigns (meeting minutes, reports, promotional material, signs, )
  • Print and digital images
  • Ephemera like posters, flyers, buttons, t-shirts,
  • Film, audio, and video recordings of local LGBTQ events, people, and issues
  • Consider participating in an oral history

We would especially like to add materials representing:

  • Social organizations
  • Community organizations (like Orgullo Latinx, Lesbian Switchboard, OPEN Madison,

Gay Fathers, etc.)

  • Sports Organizations
  • Materials to represent the Trans and non-binary community
  • Materials to represent the experiences of queer people of color
  • Gay arts materials including theater productions and musical groups
  • Local LGBTQ bars
  • Materials to represent the Drag Community
  • Photos, slides, VHS, and film of local LGBTQ life
  • Materials to represent the Bisexual community
  • College groups from Madison College, Edgewood, and UW, and other local school groups
  • Items that tell personal stories Follow us on social media!




Funders and Sponsors:

UW Libraries, UW–Madison University Archives, LGBTQ Archive Committee, New Harvest Foundation, George Mosse Program in History, UW–Madison Gender and Sexuality Campus Center, OutReach LGBT Community Center (fiscal sponsor) Community Center