LGBTQ Community History Archive
In the 30 years since OUTMemphis formed, the center has served as a home for items and writings that are of historical significance to both the local and national LGBTQ community. As the LGBTQ community center of the Mid-South, OUTMemphis has become the steward of the collections of LGBTQ memorabilia and historical documents lovingly curated by several local volunteer historians.
Collecting and archiving these items has been no small feat!
2019 marks OUTMemphis’s 30th anniversary, and the size of the LGBTQ Community History Archive reflects that lifespan. Items have come to us from personal collections, from LGBTQ organizations and groups, from LGBTQ college student organizations, and from the local creators of magazines and newspapers by-and-for LGBTQ people.
For the last several years, OUTMemphis has worked in partnership with individuals, academic institutions, and public institutions to protect these items and make this history more accessible to the public. As our community gains and loses public favor, there is always the possibility that people will want to rewrite our history, for good or ill. Making sure that primary source materials that document LGBTQ people in Memphis are available is a radical act of advocacy and reflects the fierce love we have for our elders.
Our history is a few clicks or (at most) a short drive away.
History Archive materials that you can access at OUTMemphis include:
Full collections of Triangle Journal News, Gaze, Gaiety, and Friends and Family are available for viewing at OUTMemphis. To schedule a time to view the magazines please email us. Many articles from these local publications have been scanned in and are available through our online history timeline here.
At the Central Branch of the Memphis Public Library and Information Center, local historian Vincent Astor has donated a collection which includes magazines, newspapers, and artifacts. Click on the link to learn more about the Memphis Room and to read about GLBT Life in Memphis: The Vincent Astor Collection.
In collaboration with the Rhodes College History Department , full collections of Triangle Journal News, Gaze, Gaiety, and Friends and Family have been digitized and can be found and searched here. Oral histories collected by History Department students and faculty can be found here.
OUTMemphis is committed to preserving not only the history of the past, but also the history that we are making right now! We are a hub of LGBTQ activity in Memphis, and as such we will continue to preserve the items and stories that make up our collective history. We will continue to increase the access people have to LGBTQ history in Memphis.