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Michigan State University

LGBTQ History and Culture: Resources in Special Collections: Activism


The MSU Libraries have an extensive scholarly collection on gender studies, including academic journals, books and ebooks, and conference proceedings. Within Special Collections, our focus is on collecting the voices of LGBTQ individuals and groups.

LGBTQ manifestos

In many activist movements, key groups or individual leaders write statements which define and explain their purpose and goals. From our collection, in chronological order:

Vertical files

Vertical files are a way for libraries to organize items not cataloged individually, such as newspaper clippings, brochures, advertisements, or presentation handouts.

Special Collections has two extensive series of such material: the American Radicalism Vertical Files (ARVF) and the Popular Culture Vertical Files (PCVF).

Nearly 2000 topics are covered, with about 100 relating to LGBTQ issues. The vertical files are especially useful for local events and organizations.

You can identify these files with a keyword search. For example:

  • ARVF and gay
  • PCVF and lesbian
  • ARVF and transgender

Here are just a handful of LGBTQ topics in the vertical files:

  • Detroit Area Gay-Lesbian Council
  • Gay Pride Marches in Michigan
  • Lansing Women's Chorus
  • Michigan Lesbian/Gay Democratic Caucus
  • Michigan Organization for Human Rights
  • Michigan State University Lesbian/Gay Council
  • Statewide Lesbian Political Action Committee (1979)
  • Stonewall II Riot (New York, NY: Oct. 19, 1998)


We have material from dozens of LGBTQ organizations, including those listed below.

Searching these by keyword will retrieve items where the organization is the subject or author. The most relevant hits will be at the top. Below that you may get false hits, where the requested terms appear in a different order.

  • ACT UP
  • Affirmation (LGBT Mormons)
  • Against Equality
  • Brother to Brother
  • Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere
  • Coalition of Vietnamese Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Network
  • Daughters of Bilitus
  • Dignity
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
  • Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
  • Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
  • Gay Liberation Front
  • Gay Men of African Descent
  • Gay Rights National Lobby
  • Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
  • GSA Network
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Integrity Inc. (may also be referred to as Integrity USA)
  • International Foundation for Gender Education
  • International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
  • Intersex Society of North America
  • Lambda Legal
  • Lansing Association for Human Rights (LAHR)
  • Lesbian and Gay Community Network of Western Michigan
  • Lesbian and Gay Labor Network
  • Lesbian and Gay Parents Coalition International
  • Lesbian Avengers
  • Mattachine Society
  • Michigan Organization for Human Rights
  • National Association of Black and White Men Together
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • National Gay Rights Advocates
  • New York State Black Gay Network
  • Out & Equal
  • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (often called by its acronym alone: PFLAG)
  • Queer Nation
  • Trans Oral History Project
  • Transgender Network of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
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