The New York Public Library’s LGBTQ Archives Are a Treasure Trove of Queer Vintage Photos

You may have heard about the digitized archives available to the public at the New York Public Library, but we were so overwhelmed by all the cool artwork that we nearly overlooked the masses of fascinating LGBTQ archives and queer content inside.

Among its 188,000 items, there are four collections that really stand out: 200 photos of gay and lesbian writers (and their dogs); items from the International Gay Information Center, which ran from 1969-1988; 366 photos of protests, rallies, and other political movements by Diana Davies and, largest of all, over 900 photos from the personal collection of lesbian activists Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen.

Here are some of our favorite images, including photos of the trans women who started the Stonewall Riots, as well as parties and protests galore!

Check out some of the photographs detailing queer life available in the LGBTQ archives of the New York Public Library:

Marsha P. Johnson picketing outside Bellevue Hospital

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

When gay activists protested mafia control of the bar scene, counter-protesters came out in defense of Mike, owner of Christopher’s End

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Harry Hay and the Mattachine Society Christmas Party, 1951

New York Public Library LGBTQ 33

The “Rockefeller Five,“ members of the Gay Activist Alliance, with their attorney, 1970

New York Public Library LGBTQ 44

Kay Tobin, “Picket At Pentagon, 1965”

New York Public Library LGBTQ 323

Barbara Gittings, who created the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Sylvia Rivera

New York Public Library LGBTQ 423232

The “Hug A Homosexual” booth at the American Library Association annual meeting

New York Public Library LGBTQ 32323

New York City Protestors

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Gay Activist Alliance dance party, 1971

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, 1969

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

The Gay Liberation Front in Times Square, 1969

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Gay Liberation Front picketing the offices of Time magazine, 1969

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

American Psychiatric Association Meeting, 1978

New York Public Library LGBTQ Archives

Picketers Assemble in New York

New York Public Library LGBTQ 3232

Richard Wandel, “March on Albany, 1971”

New York Public Library LGBTQ 323

What do you think of this peek at the LGBTQ Archives of the New York Public Library?

This story was originally published on January 21, 2016

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