About Us

Movies and spoken-word audio cassettes at SMA.
Movies and spoken-word audio cassettes at SMA.

The Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) collects, preserves, protects, and makes accessible for free the literature, history, and art of all sexual and gender minorities of all races and ethnicities, including transsexuals, transgender persons, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, intersex persons, queers, gender-queers, cross-dressers, BDSM/leather folk, asexuals, polyamorists, celibates, and other emerging sexual minority groups. The SMA is national in scope and is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQI archives in the United States. The SMA seeks to inform, educate, and inspire the LGBTQI community and our allies to understand the unique stories and experiences associated with our lives and our struggles for equality.

In 2014, the SMA celebrated its 40th anniversary. Originally founded in 1974 in Chicago, Illinois as the New Alexandria Lesbian Library, the Archives has been located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts since 1979 and was renamed the Sexual Minorities Archives in 1992 to reflect its expanded collections. Read more about the History of the SMA.

The Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc. (SMEF, Inc.) was formed in 2011 to further the work of the SMA. You can read the SMEF Mission Statement and Principles regarding the operation of the SMA, as well as the SMEF Bylaws. A dedicated Board of Directors ā€“ made up of members of the diverse LGBTQI community ā€“ manages the day-to-day functions of the SMA and steers the mission and goals of the organization. Visit the Board of Directors page to learn more about our members.

A large pool of volunteers supports the SMA! They are student interns from the Five Colleges and community colleges and high schools, educators, and members of the community. Their time, materials, and hard work make possible the development of the collections and of so many educational programs we offer, along with materials processing and preservation.  All SMA archival materials and research appointments are provided for FREE!  Read more about Our Volunteers.

The Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc. is a registered 501(c) 3 educational non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

Our Mission

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.