Lavender Legacies Guide: United States: Ohio

Back to state listing

Bowling Green State University
Northeast Ohio LGBT History Archives
Oberlin College Archives
Ohio Lesbian Archives

Popular Culture Library
Address: Bowling Green State University
Jerome Library, 4th floor
Bowling Green, OH 43403
Phone: (419) 372-2450
Fax: (419) 372-7996
Contact: Colleen Warner
Hours: Academic year Mon-Thu: 9 am - 9 pm; Fri: 9 am - 5 pm; Sat: 1-5 pm; Sun: 4-9 pm. Hours vary during semester breaks, summers and holidays.
Wheelchair Access: yes

Popular Culture Library was created in 1969 within the main library of Bowling Green State University, to support the university's programs in cultural studies.

Information about holdings
Printed material: approx. 1,250 book and periodical titles scattered throughout the collections

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
LGBT materials include westerns, erotic stories, science fiction, underground comics, alternative press publications and others.
Collecting Interests:
Major subject strengths of the Popular Culture Library include: popular fiction in the romance, mystery, science fiction, western, and adventure genres, the performing arts and entertainment industry, the graphic arts and mass communications, foodways and cookery, sports, recreation and travel, popular religion and the supernatural, teen culture and counterculture, folklore, wit and humor.

Use requirements
Must have valid photo ID and complete registration form.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, reference assistance on site, and telephone reference.

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
All cataloged materials are on OCLC. There are finding aids and guides for uncataloged collections.

News about collections
Collection announcements are sent out for major new additions.

Northeast Ohio LGBT History Archives
Address: Western Reserve Historical Society
10825 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Phone: (216) 721-5722
Contact: Curator of Manuscripts for collection development; Reference Desk for collection access
Hours: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays: 10am-5pm

The mission of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society is to foster greater understanding of the region’s LGBT history by documenting the lives of Northeast Ohio’s LGBT residents and organizations and their contributions to our community. We collect and preserve the papers, documents, photographs, oral history interviews, and memorabilia of LGBT individuals, organizations, institutions, and businesses in Northeast Ohio. These materials are available to researchers.
The LGBT Archives began in 1991 as a volunteer-led partnership with the Lesbian/Gay Community Services Center with the goal of collecting, preserving, and documenting the region’s rich LGBT history. Our partnership grew to include a community-based oral history project as the decade progressed. This significant venture involved recording and transcribing more than two-dozen interviews with people from our community.

Information about holdings:
The LGBT collection includes manuscripts, business records, photographs, personal papers, oral histories, and cultural artifacts. Our holdings include these significant collections:
The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland Records
Douglas Braun Papers
Cadillac Lounge Murals
Vincent Carotenuto Papers
Andrew (Drew) Cari Papers
Chevrei Tikva Records
The Community of Pride March and Festival Records
Jane Daroff/PFLAG Papers
The Brynna Fish Papers
Gay Educational Awareness Resources Records
Gay & Lesbian March on Washington Records
The Gay People’s Chronicle Records
Gay Wave’s Recordings
Bob & Karen Gross/Transfamily Papers
Victor Karp Papers
Kenneth J. Kolesar Papers and Photographs
The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Greater Cleveland Records
Midwest Gay Pride Photographs
Northeast Ohio LGBT Oral History Project Recordings and Transcripts
Richard J. Pohl Papers
Stonewall: Cleveland Records
Aubrey Wertheim Papers

Collection Growth:
The LGBT History Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society is actively collecting material that documents the history of the LGBT community in northeast Ohio. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for more information.

Access and Use:
The Reading Room of the Western Reserve Historical Society Library is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am-5pm. See our website for Reading Room rules and regulations/policies.
Research space
Reference assistance on site
Telephone reference
Internet reference (e-mail/web)
Copying services
Limited Audiovisual facilities
Exhibitions Loan agreements for exhibits

Indices to the Collections:
All WRHS manuscript and picture group collections have written finding aids that include folder level or container level descriptions of the collections. Our library catalog is available on our website at

Updating Collection Descriptions:
As our collections are processed, they are added to our online catalog and our website is updated periodically.

Oberlin College Archives
Address: Oberlin College
420 Mudd Center
Oberlin, OH 44074
Phone: (440) 775-8014
Contact: Roland M. Baumann
Internet address:
Collecting areas: The College Archives acquires documentary material that reports on the sexual orientation subcommittee of the student body and the Alumni Association as well as collects the personal papers of artists, faculty, staff, and graduates.Of principal importance are the records of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Union (LGBTU),1971-2000; Oberlin Lambda Alumni (OLA), 1987-2000, a self-defined group under the Oberlin Alumni Association; Papers of John Young '83, 1979-2001; Papers of Jan Cooper, 1987-1997; and Papers of Joseph Plaster, 1999-2000; plus various files regarding sexual orientation and intense relationships with the same sex in established institutional record groups.

Ohio Lesbian Archives
Address: P.O. Box 20075
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Phone: (513) 541-1917
Contact: Karen Phebe Beiser and Victoria Ramstetter
Email: ohiolesbian
Internet address:
Hours: Tue: 6-7:30 pm, and by appointment.
Wheelchair Access: no
Begun in 1978 by the staff of DINAH, a local lesbian newsletter, the collections were housed in a private apartment and open by appointment only. On August 27, 1989, the collection moved to its permanent home in the Cincinnati Women's Building.
Information about holdings
Manuscripts: 20+ collections of women's papers
Organizational records: 4 ft.
Printed material: 120 ft.
Clippings/vertical files: 17 ft.
Objects/ephemera: 500 items
Film/Video/Sound: 9 ft.
Photographs: hundreds of photos
Microfilm: yes
Other holdings/notes: yes

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
All material is post WWII with the most extensive holdings covering the 1970s. The focus is on Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, but the archives includes national, and some international, books and periodicals.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
Lesbian Activist Bureau (1970s), Crazy Ladies Bookstore and Center, Stonewall Cincinnati, Muse (women's choir), DINAH (Newsletter), A Room of One's Own (Indiana bookstore), Sisterspirit (Mississippi), The Ladder (periodical 1966-1972: partial run), Victoria Ramsetter (local author/activist), Juana Maria Paz, interview with Just for Now (women's band), and taped speeches of Z Budapest, Alix Dobkin, Sonia Johnson, and Minnie Bruce Pratt.
Collecting interests
The Ohio Lesbian Archives collects lesbian materials relating to the Cincinnati tri-state area.
Use requirements
All collections are open.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, reference assistance on site, Internet reference (email/web), and borrowing privileges for individuals.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
There are indices for several years of the area lesbian newsletter DINAH. An inventory of the vertical file and books is in progress.
News about collections