New York Public Library. Center for the Humanities, Manuscripts and Archives Division

Location: Room 328 (reading room)

Address: Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street, Room 324
New York, NY 10018-2788

Phone: Reference: 212-930-0801; Curator: 212-930-0804 Fax: (212) 302-4815

Contact: William Stingone, Curator of Manuscripts

Email: Reference:; Curator:

Internet address: (parent); gay info: (divisional info including some finding aids)

Hours: Tue, Wed: 11 am - 5:45 pm; Thu-Sat: 10 am - 5:45 pm.

Wheelchair Access: yes

NYPL first gave serious consideration to documenting g/l/b/t history in the mid-1980s. G/l/b/t history became a major area of collection development in 1988 with the acquisition of the International Gay Information Center Archives, previously a community based archive. The documentation of AIDS and HIV was added to the division's mission in 1989. Since the late 1980s, approximately 35 collections pertaining to g/l/b/t history and culture, and to AIDS and HIV, have been added. In 1994 the library mounted a major exhibition, "Becoming Visible," to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Holdings summary
A guide with more detailed information is available on the web , or in paper form (free).

International Gay Information Center Archives. The IGIC Archives operated as a community-based repository until 1988, when the organization's directors gave the collection to The New York Public Library. Series I, Organizational Records and Personal Papers, 81.5 feet (1944-1991), includes the records of the Mattachine Society of New York, Gay Activists Alliance, Gay Switchboard and other organizations; and the personal papers of Arthur Bell, Billy Blackwell, Perry Brass, Walter Porczak and others. Series II, Audiovisual Materials, over 300 items (ca. 1970-1983) consists primarily of audiotapes and approximately forty videotapes. Series III, Periodicals, approximately 2,000 separate periodical titles comprising over 150 feet (1953-1989), includes publications from forty-seven states and twenty-seven countries. Series IV, Books, an estimated 4,000 volumes (mostly post-1950), includes works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, biography and erotica, primarily in English. Series V, Ephemera, approximately 150 feet (mostly 1969 - present), consists of printed material (such as flyers and mailings) from approximately 400 organizations worldwide; articles and other printed materials topically arranged; posters and artwork; postcards, comic and coloring books, and artifacts; and t-shirts, banners, and buttons. Most of the collection is now available for research with the exception of a small quantity of unarranged ephemera and unprocessed recent additions that are not accessible, and a few files that have been closed for a period of time to protect the privacy of living (or presumed living) individuals, or at the request of the donors.

Related Collections in the Manuscripts and Archives Division, processed:
Topics/organizations documented include lesbian and gay rights, the National Gay Task Force, Thirteenth Moon (feminist literary journal), Gay Men's Health Crisis, and living with and fighting against AIDS. Donors include authors, activists, photographers, editors, historians, health administrators, and people with many other occupations. The collections document the lives of famous and lesser-known lesbians and gay men.
  • Leo Adams Papers, 1928-1952, .9 ft;
  • David Louis Bowie Diaries, 1978-1993, 1 ft;
  • Howard Brown Papers, 1924-1974, ca.8 ft;
  • Aaron Cohen Papers, 1979-1989, .17 ft;
  • Diana Davies Collection, ca. 1969-1989, 2.3 ft;
  • Day Without Art (NYPL) Collection, 1994-1995, .83 ft;
  • Martin Duberman Papers, 1917-1992, 37 ft;
  • Stuart Edelson Papers, 1966-1993, 4 ft;
  • David Feinberg Papers, 1976-1994, 10 ft;
  • Fierce Pussy Collection, 1991-1994, .2 ft;
  • Israel David Fishman Papers, 1970-1994, 3 ft;
  • Rudy Grillo Collection, 1970-1989, ca. 1 ft;
  • Doris Grumbach Papers, 1939-1995, 33 ft;
  • Jonathan Ned Katz Papers, ca. 1947-1995, 25.5 ft;
  • Arthur Johnson Papers, 1980s-1990s, .75 ft;
  • Lawrence Mass Papers, 1966-1995, 14 ft;
  • Martin Michel Collection, 1963-1984, .5 ft;
  • Jack Nichols Papers, ca. 1965-1993, .4 ft;
  • Harold Pickett Papers, 1965-1988, 3 ft;
  • Craig Rodwell Papers, 1940-1993, 7 ft;
  • Vito Russo Papers, 1969-1990, 3.5 ft;
  • Lester Q. Strong Papers, 1941-1996, 9 ft;
  • Thirteenth Moon Records, 1973-1982, 27 ft;
  • James Turcotte Papers, 1969-1992, 1.5 ft;
  • Donald Vining Papers, 1926-1996, 3 ft.

Recently received collections, in process:
  • ACT UP/NY Records;
  • Bradley Ball Papers;
  • Charles Boultonhouse and Parker Tyler Papers;
  • Copy Berg Papers;
  • Ted Cronin Collection;
  • Gay Men's Health Crisis Records;
  • Dorothee Gore Papers;
  • Gran Fury Collection;
  • Karla Jay Papers;
  • Arnie Kantrowitz Papers;
  • Morty Manford Papers and Jeanne Manford Papers;
  • People With AIDS Coalition Records; and
  • Women's Action Coalition (WAC) Collection.

Collecting interests
Personal papers, organizational records, and ephemera, particularly from New York and the Northeast U.S. region.

Use requirements
ID required to obtain reader's card for Rare Books and Manuscripts Reading Room.
Comments about access/use: Additional access information available via web site:

Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and loan agreements for exhibits.

Other services/notes: Phone reference limited to brief inquiries.

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Finding aids vary considerably. There are brief entries for most g/l/b/t collections in the Library's on-line catalog, CATNYP (via web site, above); most also have finding aids available on-site or remotely, on paper or floppy disk. A few relevant finding aids are mounted on divisional web page (see above). All of the books in the International Gay Information Center Archives are cataloged in CATNYP.

News about collections Handout titled "Gay and Lesbian Collections; AIDS/HIV Collections," available free in paper and on web, revised whenever new collections are acquired or when they become available for use.