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The Archives

The Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) collects, preserves, protects, and makes accessible for free the literature, history, and art of all sexual and gender minorities of all races and ethnicities, including transsexuals, transgender persons, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, intersex persons, queers, gender-queers, cross-dressers, BDSM/leather folk, asexuals, polyamorists, celibates, and other emerging sexual minority groups. The SMA is national in scope and is one of the oldest and largest LGBTQI archives in the United States. The SMA seeks to inform, educate, and inspire the LGBTQI community and our allies to understand the unique stories and experiences associated with our lives and our struggles for equality.

In 2014, the SMA celebrated its 40th anniversary. Originally founded in 1974 in Chicago, Illinois as the New Alexandria Lesbian Library, the Archives has been located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts since 1979 and was renamed the Sexual Minorities Archives in 1992 to reflect its expanded collections. Read more about the History of the SMA.

Within our space in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the SMA is expanding: We have acquired The Leslie Feinberg Library, a collection of 1,250 books which were the late author and activist Leslie Feinberg’s personal research library. We are also excited to announce the acquisition of Out Books On Wheels, a grassroots LGBTQIA FREE lending library that operates out of the SMA in Holyoke and is available to all LGBTQIA people and our allies. These collections have enriched the research, educational, and entertainment offerings of the SMA, and we can’t wait to share them with you — all at no charge! Donations are always appreciated.

The SMA provides free access to archival materials to community members and to student and faculty researchers from the Five Colleges area and nationwide.

A large pool of volunteers supports the SMA! They are student interns from the Five Colleges and community colleges and high schools, educators, and members of the community. Their time, materials, and hard work make possible the development of the collections and of so many educational programs we offer, along with materials processing and preservation.  All SMA archival materials and research appointments are provided for FREE! 

The Sexual Minorities Educational Foundation, Inc. is a registered 501(c) 3 educational non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.