Archives of Sexuality and Gender SeriesPrimary Source Collection Explores the Untold Stories of Southern African and Australian LGBTQ History and Culture

In collaboration with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) and the Lesbian Herstory Archives, Gale, a Cengage company, has released the fourth instalment of its award-winning Archives of Sexuality and Gender series.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: International Perspectives on LGBTQ Activism and Culture, a part of Gale Primary Sources, explores the untold stories of LGBTQ history and culture, with a focus on southern Africa and Australia throughout the 20th century (1820-2016).

This never-before-digitized collection expands upon the first three archives, providing researchers and scholars access to thousands of rare and unique resources that offer historical perspectives into the populations and regions of the world that have been underrepresented in the study of sexuality and gender.

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: International Perspectives on LGBTQ Activism and Culture presents cultural and social histories, struggles for rights and freedoms, explorations of sexuality and organizations and prominent figures in LGBTQ history in southern Africa and Australia.

Additionally, it presents documentation of grassroots activism, the papers of lesbian and feminist organizations, and lesbian culture internationally. Researchers and scholars will gain key insights into the oppression, struggles and triumphs of southern African and Australian LGBTQ individuals and groups as well as international lesbian activism and herstory.

“Gale is committed to publishing collections that support the study and inclusion of diverse and minority voices,” said Seth Cayley, vice president of Gale Primary Sources. “Offering new perspectives on sexuality and gender studies while making certain LGBTQ history is not erased from the historical record supports initiatives to decolonize the curriculum and are key goals of the Archives of Sexuality & Gender series. Gale is proud to partner with organizations dedicated to preserving cultural memory.”

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: International Perspectives on LGBTQ Activism and Culture features three unique collections that highlight the struggle for equality, document social activism and detail the development of LGBTQ culture and society:

  • Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA): a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) culture and education in southern Africa. It was founded to address the erasure of LGBTQ experiences from official archives, histories and other spaces in South Africa. Collections feature:
  • Papers of Simon Tseko Nkoli: a prominent anti-apartheid, gay and lesbian rights, and HIV/AIDS activist.
  • Papers of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG): a nonprofit LGBTIQ advocacy organization offering counselling and health services and raising awareness against persecution.
  •  Exit Newspaper: South Africa’s longest-running monthly LGBTIQ publication.
  • Papers of LEGATRA: The Lesbians, Gays and Transgender Persons Association (LEGATRA) was established in 1997 as an alliance for the defence of lesbians, gays and transgender persons’ basic human rights in Zambia. Due to institutional harassment, LEGATRA was short-lived, with most members fleeing Zambia’s borders.
  • Papers of Joy Wellbeloved: prominent transgender activist involved with the Phoenix Society, an organization for white men who dressed in women’s clothing.
  • Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA): Australia’s only community group that collects, preserves and makes LGBTIQ material from across the country readily accessible. The ALGA periodicals collection represents the history of the early gay liberation movement in Australia from the 1970s to the 2010s. The ALGA and Gale have partnered to digitize more than 150 titles from the collection, with particular strengths in the 1970s to 1980s activism, cultural and social history, community newsletters, support groups, the arts and entertainment and the AIDS crisis.

All six Australian states are represented in the collection, offering LGBTIQ history across the continent. Titles include:

  • National level: OutRage and Gayzette.
  • State-level: CAMP NSW Newsletter and Speaking Volumes (Adelaide).
  • Metropolitan centres: Capital Q (Sydney) and Now in Melbourne.
  • Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA): gathers and preserves records of lesbian lives and activities. The collection includes nearly 130,000 pages of manuscripts and ephemera from two collections:
  • Organization Files: content from more than 1,600 groups that focus on lesbian issues and women’s/feminist groups with a lesbian focus or participation.
  • Geographic Files: local “lesbian/gay maps,” event flyers, bar listings, newspaper clippings and local newsletters gathered from around the world, covering Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

The Archives of Sexuality and Gender series is available on the Gale Primary Sources platform, enabling cross-archival searching to help users make new connections across topics. For those looking to explore even deeper insights, the series is also available through the Gale Digital Scholar Lab. This allows researchers to apply natural language processing tools to raw text data (OCR) from the collections or Gale Primary Sources archives and perform textual analysis on large corpora of historical texts. Now researchers can analyze and explore historical text more interactively, generating new research insights and content sets not previously possible.

This fourth instalment offers:

  • access to more than 450,000 pages of rare content, making it the largest and most comprehensive resource of its kind for the study of sexuality and gender in southern Africa and Australia.
  • untold stories of LGBTQ history and culture in southern Africa and Australia, regions generally underrepresented in the study of sexuality and gender.
  • coverage of organizations involved in lesbian rights in the 20th century, as well as lesbian ephemera from each of the states in the U.S. and countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
  • cross-searching and textual analysis with Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab and Gale Primary Sources, opening new research opportunities.

The Archives of Sexuality and Gender program is complementary to Gale’s Dartmouth Medal-winning, Global Encyclopedia of LGBTQ History and helps support the study of sex and sexuality, LGBTQ history, and gender studies.