Starting on July 15, the Sexual Minorities Archives will reopen to visitors and researchers by appointment only. Following Massachusetts Phase 3 and CDC guidelines, you must wear a mask to enter the SMA and practice social distancing while there. Until September 1, we will limit group visits to five people or less.
Our free LGBTQIA+ lending library, Out Books On Wheels, will also reopen on July 15 for
your book-borrowing needs. We will continue to provide contactless, side-porch pickup of books from the lending library, by arrangement. Simply visit the Out Books On Wheels page, and read the catalogs linked there to choose the titles that interest you.
We will continue to monitor developments in Massachusetts and, if necessary, adjust our visiting guidelines with your safety in mind, first. We look forward to seeing you and to serving the educational needs of the LGBTQIA+ communities again!
Welcome to the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA), a project of the Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation Inc., and one of the oldest and largest collections of LGBTQIA+ historical documents, media, and artifacts in the world. The SMA is proud to have served our Queer community for over 43 years with FREE access to vital archival materials. Please browse the menu links above to find out more about who we are and what we do, as well as how to support our projects or get involved!
Solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter
The Sexual Minorities Archives and Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation stand in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter protests within the Pioneer Valley and throughout the country following the murders of Nina Pop, Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and all black and brown folks that white supremacy and police brutality have murdered in the present and across history. We call for justice, an end to white supremacy, and an end to police brutality.
The Sexual Minorities Archives holds that black and brown folks’ lives, stories, and histories matter and deserve to be told, made visible, and amplified across generations. Our queer and trans history is impossible to tell without naming the contributions of black and brown queer and trans activists, artists, writers, and thinkers such as Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Storme DeLarverie, and countless others, whose contributions to our queer history all too often go unrecognized in this racist society that seeks to erase black and brown queer/trans lives. We are dedicated to telling and making visible these stories now and into the future.
The SMA embodies archival justice by prioritizing LGBTQ people of color materials in subject files, books and periodicals cataloging that utilizes readily-found methods that elevate visibility and use. We strive to be anti-racist as a grassroots, community archives and organization, and we warmly welcome the participation of people of color as student interns, community volunteers, and on our board of directors. We remember that Stonewall – an event all too often whitewashed and sanitized – started as a riot against police violence much like the riots today, led by black/brown trans folks: Storme DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, Sylvia Rivera, and others. Those who stand against the protests now stand on the wrong side of history. We will not rest until there is justice, peace, and a world that sees that #BlackLivesMatter and #BlackTransLivesMatter.
Within our space in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the SMA is expanding: We have acquired The Leslie Feinberg Library, a collection of 1,250 books which were the late author and activist Leslie Feinberg’s personal research library. We are also excited to announce the acquisition of Out Books On Wheels, a grassroots LGBTQIA FREE lending library that operates out of the SMA in Holyoke and is available to all LGBTQIA people and our allies. These collections have enriched the research, educational, and entertainment offerings of the SMA, and we can’t wait to share them with you — all at no charge! (Donations are always appreciated.)
At the SMA, we vow through our work that all individuals who are part of gender and sexual minorities communities will never again have their voices silenced by the indifferent and hostile forces within our society, and seek to recover and preserve the voices of LGBTQIA persons from throughout our history. We work to especially include the voices of LGBTQIA people of color, and strive for an intersectional approach to our queer activism that reflects the nuanced and varied experiences of members of our communities over time.
Welcome Home to the Archives!