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St. Louis LGBTQ+ Research Collection

Identifier: LH-wua00438

The St. Louis LGBTQ+ Research Collection consists of local and national periodicals, conference and task force publications, buttons, t-shirts, photographs, and posters related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community of Greater St. Louis.

Materials are primarily focused on the St. Louis area, although some regional (Midwestern, Southern Illinois) and national items are included for context.


  • 1967-2013


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


14.75 linear feet

18 boxes

Biographical or Historical Information

The St. Louis LGBT History Project was founded in 2007 by Steven Brawley.  In October 2015 Washington University Libraries joined the Project as an archival partner.  This partnership, which also includes the Missouri History Museum, and the State Historical Society of Missouri, aims to document and preserve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and associated communities’ local history.

While most items in this collection were donated through the Project, some were given directly to Special Collections of Washington University Libraries.  Due to the large number of donors this information is indicated throughout the finding aid.  Materials continue to be added, particularly those of use for scholarly or academic research purposes.

For more information see, Gay and Lesbian St. Louis, by Steven Louis Brawley and the St. Louis LGBT History Project (Arcadia Publishing, [2016]), available through Washington University Libraries.

LGBTQ is used in the title of this finding aid to indicate persons who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer and / or questioning.  The symbol + (plus) is used for any persons not listed, such as intersex, asexual, polyamorous, or allies. This term was selected based on the common usage of “LGBT” and “LGBTQ” for programs at Washington University, with the addition of + in the pattern of the LGBTQ+ Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections Without Borders international conference of June 2016.

Other terminology found throughout the finding aid varies, and reflect historical differences and rapid changes in common language for this subject matter.

Arrangement Note

The St. Louis LGBTQ+ Research Collection is arranged into seven series: Series 1: Periodicals and Publications (St. Louis area, including Metro East) Series 2: Periodicals and Publications (National) Series 3: Conference and Task Force Publications Series 4: Material Culture (further organized by type of material) Series 5: Organizations, Businesses, and Groups Series 6: Oversized Series 7: Web Content

Method of Acquisition

Donated by Harold Osler in 2015, Brian Vertruba in 2016, Charlotte Ellis in 2016, and the St. Louis LGBT History Project (includes Steve Brawley, John Hilgeman, Ed Laxton, John Knowles, and the Show Me Bears Organization)

Related Materials

WUA00431 Tom and Audrey Miles Papers (WUA00431)

Other Descriptive Information

Part of the St. Louis LGBTQ Collecting Initiative.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Schnuriger and Leora Baum in August 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in January 2017 and February 2018. Updated by Jasmine Han in August 2017.

St. Louis LGBTQ+ Research Collection
Created by Sarah Schnuriger and Leora Baum in August 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in January 2017 and February 2018. Updated by Jasmine Han in August 2017. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in January 2020.
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 September 25: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Local History Collecting Area

Miranda Rectenwald
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495