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Literature Collection

Our literature collection is separated into two categories:

Both of these collections are housed on the first floor of the SMA.

Books & Reference

With our book collection of more than 14,000 titles, the Sexual Minorities Archives offers an incredible resource for anyone interested in LGBTQI lives. Of the many important books we have, one of our notable holdings is an author and artist signed 1939 first edition of Gertrude Stein’s The World is Round! Our book collection is organized by a classification system that was created in-house by the founding archivist and further developed since to encompass new genres. These catalog titles are meant to help researchers navigate the collection and understand how the books relate to LGBTQI lives.

The Main Room at the SMA; housing the majority of our literature collection.

Our list of classifications can be viewed here

Our expansive reference collection provides a helpful resource for researching an array of topics related to LGBTQI subjects. Including guides, indexes, annotated bibliographies, dictionaries, travel guides, reports, publications from other archives, and other materials, this collection offers a diverse range of factual information.

You can access the SMA book catalogs by clicking on the classifications below:

You can access the SMA reference catalogs by clicking on the classifications below:


With over 1,000 titles and more than 17,000 issues of newspapers, magazines, ‘zines, and printed copies of e-newsletters, the Sexual Minorities Archives’ periodicals collection is unparalleled.

This room houses the periodical collection and rare books.

Visitors can browse the most recent issues of our collection from the display rack, which holds a variety of magazines, zines, newspaper and newsletters, such as Lesbian ConnectionsGirlfriends, or The Scarlet Leather. We also keep recent issues of mainstream periodicals that may feature LGBTQAI people on them. For example, we archived a copy of the May 2014 issue of Time Magazine, which featured Laverne Cox on the cover. Periodicals not recently published are preserved in boxes, but are still available for browsing. These periodicals are organized by title in our periodical room.

The periodicals holdings include full or near-full runs of many important publications both national and local in scope and content. We have a full run of The Lesbian Calendar, which advertised concerts, talks, and various events that occurred throughout New England and would be excellent resource for learning more about the local history of Northampton, MA, in particular.  

In addition to touching on the local history of The Valley, our periodical collection also includes a full run of material that pre-dates the 1969 Stonewall rebellion.  The Ladder Magazine (published by the Daughters of Bilitis) from 1957–to 1972 touches on Lesbian life during the early days of the homophile movement, while One Institute Quarterly: Homophile Studies (published from 1958-1964) touches on gay life.

You can view our up to date list of Periodical Holdings here.