Poster Holdings in the SMA
Our Posters Collection has a special focus on the Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts area, but also includes posters from across the U.S. and the world. Local Western Massachusetts posters focus on events at the Five Colleges and on lesbian-feminist spaces in Northampton. Chicago, Illinois posters display bold and radical imagery. Posters are organized by year, when known. If a date was not included on a poster, the date is assigned by research conducted by SMA archivists. Otherwise, an estimated date or decade is offered if the information cannot be determined.
View a partial catalog of the SMA’s Posters holdings. In addition to our cataloged posters, the SMA also has hundreds of un-cataloged, oversized flyers and posters, including a Northampton collection and a U.S./International collection
Highlights of Posters holdings in the SMA include:
- Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective posters
- Posters of musicians such as The Butchies and Ani DiFranco
- Movie promotional posters such as from “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Desert Hearts”
- Posters for LGBTQI performers such as Ellen DeGeneres, Elton John, Kate Clinton
- International Ms. and International Mr. Leather posters
- Event posters from the Five Colleges, in Western Massachusetts
The Importance of Posters to the Historical Record
The SMA believes it is important for our community archive to collect posters for three reasons: to document the history of our people, to chronicle where and when events occurred, and because they display original art by our LGBTQI groups and individuals.
Posters allow us to study the past events and activities of LGBTQI communities and organizations, providing us with a fuller picture of our history, activism, and resistance. Posters document the physical landscape of the movement, highlighting not only what events happened, but where they occurred and who produced them, as well. Thus, even though the physical spaces where events occurred no longer exist, posters tell the stories of dyke bars, drag clubs, the gay and leather scenes, women and lesbian-only spaces, trans-support groups, dances, theater troupes, student organizing groups, protest actions, and more.