Lavender Legacies Guide: United States: Pennsylvania

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The Andy Warhol Museum
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
PGH Equality Center
John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania State Archives
Senator John Heinz History Center, Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives
Temple University
University of Pennsylvania

The Andy Warhol Museum
Location: 117 Sandusky Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Phone: (412) 237-8300 Fax: (412) 237-8340
Contact: John W. Smith
Internet address:
Hours: By appointment.
Wheelchair Access: yes
The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, was founded in 1989 as a joint venture among the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Dia Center for the Arts. The Warhol Museum, which opened to the public in May 1994, is administered by the Carnegie Institute.
Information about holdings
Manuscripts: 1,500 ft.
Printed material: 100 ft.
Clippings/vertical files: 50 scrapbooks
Film/Video/Sound: 4,000 items
Photographs: approx. 10,000
Microfilm: Interview magazine

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
The collection's main concentration is material, ca.1950-1987. The collection is international in scope but focuses on New York City.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
Andy Warhol, New York art world, 1960-1980s; Interview magazine.
Use requirements
Open to the public.
Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and loan agreements for exhibits.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Item level inventories exist for the processed part of the collection, but have not been put in a searchable database.

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Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections

Address / Location: Waidner-Spahr Library, PO Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013 (For GPS directions use 333 West High Street)
Phone: 717-245-1399
Contact: Malinda Triller-Doran, Special Collections Librarian
Finding Aids:
Official Project Web Site:
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4 pm (also Monday & Wednesday 6 to 9 pm when classes are in session) We advise contacting us in advance to confirm hours.

History: The LGBT Center of Central PA History Project began in August 2012 as the result of a story circle. In 2013, the project leaders approached Dickinson College to serve as a repository for the oral histories and the additional documents, photographs, and artifacts donated by contributors. The LGBT Center and Dickinson College collaborate to host exhibits and events, to sponsor interns and volunteers, and to support education and outreach regarding local LGBTQ+ history.

Information about QLGBT holdings Collection Description:
The LGBT History Project at Dickinson College contains approximately 60 linear feet of documents, images, and artifacts documenting LGBTQ+ life in Central Pennsylvania, and the collection is growing steadily. The History Project also includes digital video and transcriptions of approximately 100 oral histories. Interviews are still being conducted.
Research materials include:
* Oral history interviews regarding LGBTQ+ life in Central PA
* Locally produced LGBTQ+ newsletters, newspapers, and magazines, such as the Gay Era (Lancaster, PA), Lavender Letter (Harrisburg, PA), Studs Magazine (Harrisburg, PA), Lancaster Inqueery (Lancaster, PA), Dignity newsletter (Harrisburg, PA), and Here’s How (Williamsport, PA).
* By-laws, minutes, and other business of advocacy groups such as the Lehigh Valley Homophile Organization (Le-Hi-Ho), the Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus, the Lehigh Valley Citizens Concerned for the Gay Community, and the South Central Aids Assistance Network (SCAAN).
* Newspaper clippings from local and regional newspapers regarding LGBTQ+ issues and events
* Buttons, t-shirts, banners, plaques, and trophies
* Materials regarding LGBTQ+ events and fundraisers, such as Pride and Unity Festivals in Central PA, Lily White and Company drag performances, and the annual FAB (Fall Achievement Benefit) event.

Services: Photocopy and scan services available for a fee. Researchers may use personal digital cameras, scanners, and laptops.

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Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Address: 500 College Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081
Phone: 610-328-8496
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30pm
Wheelchair Access: Yes

Friends Historical Library collects, preserves, and makes available archival, manuscript, printed, and visual records concerning the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). FHL also maintains the Swarthmore College Archives.

Information about QLGBT holdings
LGBTQ Committees within Yearly Meetings, approximately 1 linear foot (New York Yearly Meeting Committee on Human Relationships and Sexuality; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on the Civil Rights of Homosexuals; Baltimore Yearly Meeting Ad Hoc Committee on Gay, Lesbian, and Bi-Concerns). Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns Records, 1973-2009, 7 linear feet. Quaker Lesbian Conference Planning Committee Records, 1977-2009, 1.25 linear feet. Bruce Grimes and Geoffrey Kaiser Journal Collection, .5 linear feet. Bonnie Tinker Papers, 4 linear feet. Swarthmore Queer Union (SQU) Records, 1986-2004, .5 linear feet. Swarthmore College Sager Committee Records, 1988-2002, 1 linear foot.

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Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Address: 1300 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215.732.6200
Contact: Lee Arnold
Hours: Tu &Th 12:30-5:30; We 12:30-8:30; Fr 10:00-5:30
Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible, Research Room, meeting room
History: Founded in 1824, HSP is Philadelphia’s Library of American History
Information about QLGBT holdings Collection Description: Manuscripts: 21 million items
Printed material: 260,000 books, pamphlets, serials + 300,000 graphic items
Clippings/vertical files: 30 file cabinets
Film/Video/Sound: ~200
Photographs: 90,000; Microfilm: 10,000 reels
Time periods/geographical regions documented: 1600s to the present, primarily Eastern Pennsylvania
Significant People/organizations/subjects documented: John Fryer Papers, early L&G publications
Use requirements: Basic rules for conduct and use (no pens, no eating, no bags, no stealing, etc.)
Services: Photocopy, digitization, Ready Reference, Research-by-Mail, genealogical workshops, etc.

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PGH Equality Center

5840 Ellsworth Ave, Suite #100 (Second Floor)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15232
Phone: (412) 422-0114
Social: Facebook - @pghequalitycenter, Instagram - @pghequalitycenter, Twitter - @pghequalityctr


We serve as a bridge that promotes education, advocacy, and social justice for all LGBTQIA+ people and allies in Western Pennsylvania.

Collection Strengths
Manuscript material (personal papers): negligible 
Film, video, or sound: small collection of popular theatrical releases  (DVDs and CDs)
Organization's records: records exist but are not organized
Printed materials (books, journals, etc.): 4,600 cataloged items
Objects and ephemera (key chains, bumper tickers, graffiti, t-shirts, etc.): some
Other: Fairly complete runs of GLBT publications from the Pittsburgh area including Pittsburgh Out and Cue magazine, and the GLCC Newsletter.

Geographic coverage: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are covered.

Collection Summary:
The Book collection contains about 4,600 items and is growing rapidly. Approximately 3,000 titles will be added to the collection in 2011. Strengths include GLBT: history, literature, photography, theatre, art, erotica. The collection is limited to anything that is by, for or about GLBT authors, subjects and issues.

Collection Growth:
The GLCC collects anything that is by for and about the GLBT experience. We are especially interested in collecting any materials related to Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.

Physical Access: The Library is open to the public during regular GLCC hours. Almost everything circulates.

Hours: Regular hours are maintained for access to the circulating collections.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Research space: by appointment

Reference assistance: by appointment

Telephone reference: yes

Copying services: no

Audiovisual facilities: no

Exhibitions Loan agreements for exhibits: This is possible

Borrowing privileges:  The library is open to the public and circulating materials can be borrowed by anyone.  We limit some items to age appropriate individuals.  Books circulate for 4 weeks.  Audio visual materials circulate for 2 weeks.

Indices to the collection(s):

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John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia

Address: William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
John Anderies, Archivist
Bob Skiba, Curator
Phone: (215) 732-2220
Hours: By appointment
Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible reading room

The William Way LGBT Community Center was founded in 1975 as the Gay Community Center of Philadelphia. Its mission then, as now, was to serve sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, education, and programming. The Center's Archives was formed over the years to maintain and provide lasting access to the community's cultural heritage materials. Today the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives serves the community through its mission to collect materials created by, dealing with, or of special interest to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals.

Information about holdings: 
Manuscripts: 476 linear feet of personal papers and organization records
Printed material: 309 linear feet of periodicals
Clippings/vertical files: 59 linear feet of clippings and ephemeral files
Film/Video/Sound: over 1500 items
Photographs: 15 linear feet
Books: 60 linear feet of rare books and pulp fiction novels
Objects: 16 cubic feet of textiles and artifacts
Flat file material: approximately 10,000 items
Artwork: approximately 200 works

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
Our strongest and most important collecting parameter is the location referred to as Philadelphia Metropolitan area, also sometimes referred to as the Delaware Valley or the Tri-State area. However, we do collect materials outside of this area selectively.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
LGBT history and culture, generally; The homophile and early LGBT rights movements; LGBT history in the City of Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley; History and operations of the WWCC and its predecessors; Feminism and feminist organizations; HIV/AIDS.

Use requirements:
All members of the public may request to examine or study collections items in the Archives provided they contact Archives staff in advance and schedule an appointment. Collections are accessible contingent upon staff availability and consistent with accepted security and preservation practices. All collections are non-circulating and all materials must be used on site. Procedures for the use of the collection will be established by the Archivist and the Curator. 

Research space, copying, scanning, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, email reference, exhibitions, and loan agreements for exhibits

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions:
Finding Aids for our collections are available on our site at as well as at the PACSCL Finding Aids site at Not all collections are fully described. Please inquire about unprocessed and under-processed collections.

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Pennsylvania State Archives
Address: 350 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0090
Phone: (717) 783-3281
Contact: Rich Saylor
Hours: Mon - Closed
Tue - Closed
Wed 9:00 am - 4:00 pm #
Thu 9:00 am - 4:00 pm #
Fri 9:00 am - 4:00 pm #
Sat 9:00 am - 12:00pm * 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm *
Sun - Closed
Holidays: we are closed on all state holidays.
* Microfilm only; no original records.
# No original records pulled from 12:00 - 1:00pm. Call slips for all materials must be submitted by 11:45am prior to the lunch hour or 3:30pm at the end of the day.
Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible

History: The Pennsylvania State Archives collects, preserves and makes available for study the permanently-valuable public records of the Commonwealth, and the papers of private citizens and organizations relevant to Pennsylvania history.

Time Periods: 1681-Present

Significant people/organizations/subjects: MG-309 Milton J. Shapp Papers; RG-10 Office of the Governor; RG-23 Department of Human Services; and RG-11 Department of Health, Topics include, but are not limkited to Sexual Minorities, Gay rights, and HIV/AIDS response.

Use Requirements: Visitors interested in using original records must register and provide a photo I.D. If you wish to see restricted records, you must make an appointment. Some records in the Archives are restricted by law, as noted in the finding aids. If you want to see such records you must make an appointment so that the proper clearances can be obtained in advance. Call the Reference Section at 717-783-3281 for more information.

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Senator John Heinz History Center, Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives

Address: 1212 Smallman St. Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone:  412-454-6364
Contact: Mary Jones, Chief Librarian
Email: or submit a research request at
Online catalog:
Hours:  Wednesday- Saturday, 10 AM- 5 PM
Wheelchair accessible

The Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center is Western Pennsylvania’s preeminent source for researching the region’s rich history. Founded in 1879, the Library & Archives preserves the rich history of Western Pennsylvania, and makes its collections accessible to researchers, students, and the general public.

The Library & Archives collection includes 700,000 photographs, prints, and negatives, 40,000 books, pamphlets, and monographs, 3,500 individual archival collections of families, organizations, businesses, and industries, 600 periodical titles, and 500 maps and atlases.

Collection Description:
The Detre Library & Archives currently stewards 10.95 linear feet of archival manuscript collection materials documenting local Western Pennsylvania QLGBT subjects in addition to various print newsletters, serials, newspapers, reports, and directories.

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
Collection materials document QLGBT subjects in Western Pennsylvania, especially Pittsburgh, between 1854 and 2016. A bulk of the materials were created between the early 1990s and mid-2000s.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:
Significant individuals and organizations documented include Pittsburgh City Councilman Mark Pollock, Pittsburgh Aids Taskforce, Wilson Howell Carpenter, Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Three Rivers PrideFest, Lambda Foundation, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network Pittsburgh, World AIDS Day, and Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh.

Use requirements: Open to the general public without charge. Collection materials are non-circulating.

Services: Research space, photocopying, scanning, reference assistance, and genealogy.

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Temple University Libraries 

1210 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6088
Phone: (215) 204-8230 Fax: (215) 204-5201

Contact: Thomas M. Whitehead
Contact: Dean of University Libraries Larry Alford
Internet address:
Hours: M-F, 9-5
Wheelchair access: yes
History: The Contemporary Culture Collection was founded by the Temple University Libraries in 1969 to document the social/political protest literature of the 1960s,quickly expanding into other fields of interest (alternative press, feminism, G & L studies, etc.).
Information about holdings:
The collection has extensive gay and lesbian periodical holdings as well as books and pamphlets, which to a large degree are cataloged as books. In addition, two specific manuscript collections are noted:

a. Papers of Scott Wilds, 1973-1992. 10 cu. ft. Philadelphia gay activist. Papers are heavily city politics, political parties, and organizations related to gay and lesbian political representation.

b. Pennsylvania Lesbian and Gay Task Force (aka Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, PLGTF), 1978-1997, 1999-2005. 160 cu. ft. (Covering governance issues - Board minutes, finances, etc. - fundraising, publications, civil rights, The Hotline, educational reform, media, petitions). Includes ca. 100 VHS tapes and 100 audio tapes, Primarily of PLGTF civil rights, mass media and education rights work Special 16 CD collection. Director's review of certain projects and commentary which should have been but was not edited prior to CD transfer. A catalogue (available here in word format, probably) was prepared by PLGTF to accompany the first material transfer in 1995. Subsequent to 1995, though transferred files were subject and date organized, there was no consistent follow thru on the original structure, absent staff. Exception: annotated transfer of the director's personal files post 2000 (8 redundant boxes), and aforementioned CD collection describing the latter material transfers to Paley. Restrictions: One restriction only related to board governance in deference to someone's privacy need of the time. That, too, open 2015. Rita Addessa, director emeritus (Dec 1979-July 2005). and 215.817.1100

Collecting interests: The collection welcomes additional materials in all formats, international, 1950s-date.
Use requirements:
Must be an adult with photo i.d.
Services: Research space, reference assistance onsite, copying services, telephone reference, audiovisual facilities, internet reference, exhibitions, loan agreements for exhibits, occasional ILL requests allowed.
Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions: All cataloged books, pamphlets and periodicals are in RLIN and OCLC and in the library's online catalog:
Inventories for the manuscript collections are available onsite.

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University of Pennsylvania
Archives and Records Center
Address: North Arcade
Franklin Field
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6320
Phone: (215) 898-7025
Fax: (215) 573-2036
Contact: Amey Hutchins
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Wheelchair Access:: no, but researchers in wheelchairs can be accommodated by transporting papers to another university building.

The Archives and Records Center was established in 1940.

Information about holdings
Manuscripts: 4 cubic ft.
Organizational records: 51 cubic ft.
Printed material: 1 ft.
Clippings/vertical files: .5 cubic ft.

Time periods/geographical regions documented:
Philadelphia, especially University of Pennsylvania, 1740 to the present.

Significant People/organizations/subjects documented:

Samuel Hadden Papers, 1918-1988, psychotherapist in group practice 'curing' the homosexual. Christian Association Records, 1857-1990, are more gay friendly and include the establishment of various LGBT groups on campus.

Collecting interests
Materials that relate to the university and to the university community.

Use requirements
Registration and identification are required.

Research space, copying, audiovisual facilities, exhibitions, reference assistance on site, telephone reference, Internet reference (email/web), and loan agreements for exhibits.

Indices, finding aids, collection descriptions
Finding aids are available, including records in RLIN.