The SMA houses several different types of audio-visual materials, all of which have been cataloged. Our Media Collection contains VHS tapes, Betamax tapes, 8-tracks, CDs, DVDs, and audio cassette tapes which cover all aspects of LGBTQI life. The SMA houses an especially rich historical collection of spoken-word audio cassette tapes of lesbian and feminist events, readings, conferences, interviews and oral histories. The spoken-word tapes cover a range of topics, including organizational meetings attended by lesbian and gay activists, as well as events. They range in date from the late 1970s through 2000. There is a wealth of tapes from Chicago, Illinois and Northampton, Massachusetts. In addition, there are tapes from New York City and other cities available to explore. The tapes from Northampton cover local meetings and events. A number of the events and talks that took place at the Five Colleges (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) are also part of the collection.
The topics documented in the tapes include sexuality, feminism, gender, race, class, lesbian, gay, and women’s history and literature. The tapes also cover topics related to transgender experience, ranging from oral interviews with trans-identified people, as well as talks about transgender history. There is a core collection of recorded meetings documenting the organizing response of the lesbian and gay communities in Northampton, during the 1980s in the face of violence, threats, and harassment.