The SMA provides free public access to its collections. Materials in these collections can not be brought outside the SMA, but there are plenty of cozy spots within our space to spread out and interact with the materials.
The SMA organizes its materials related to LGBTQI lives and experiences into three different categories:
If you’d like to browse our collections in person, please schedule a time to visit. We are currently open by appointment only due to COVID-19.
The Literature Collection
The Literature Collection spans more than a century and includes LGBTQI books (fiction and non-fiction), pulp paperbacks, reference books, over 1,000 periodical titles with 17,000 individual issues, and more. The Literature Collection is organized by subject on the shelves and alphabetically by title in the periodical stacks. The SMA has numerous author-signed copies of books, rare copies and first editions. Here are some examples:
- The World is Round. Gertrude Stein, 1939, first edition, signed by Gertrude Stein and illustrator Clement Hurd
- Leaves of Grass. Walt Whitman, 1900, H.M. Caldwell Company
- Loving Her. Ann Allen Shockley, 1974, first edition, signed by Ann Allen Shockley
- Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue. Leslie Feinberg, 1998, first edition, inscribed to the SMA by Leslie Feinberg
- The Fire Next Time. James Baldwin, August 1964, first Dell printing
The Literature Collection also includes the Leslie Feinberg Library, a collection of 1,250 books which were the late author and activist Leslie Feinberg’s personal research library.
The History Collection
The History Collection is a vast, multifaceted gathering of LGBTQI historical materials from throughout the United States. The historical scope ranges from the mid-19th century to the present. History includes subject files, multimedia, personal papers, organizational collections, speeches, correspondence, ephemera, political and sociocultural buttons, and more. It also includes original research conducted by the SMA on Pioneer Valley, pre-Stonewall era figures, and historical walking tours of LGBTQI Northampton and Amherst, Massachusetts.
The Art & Music Collection
The SMA Art Collection includes original LGBTQI paintings and drawings, posters, banners, photography, sculpture, textiles, and music. To make room for all the permanent collections, only select art pieces from the SMA or visiting exhibits are currently on display.
Each Collection is ever-expanding as new materials from the past and the present are contributed by the community. To explore a Collection in detail and to view catalogs of holdings in each Collection, click within the Collections drop-down menu above.