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LGBTQIA+ Pride Month: From Special Collections & Archives

A guide for celebrating Pride Month in Boulder and surrounding areas.

What Are Special or Archival Collections?

Both the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries' Special Collections and Archives collections are part of the Libraries' Rare and Distinctive collections.  Please contact us at if you would like access to any of the sources listed below. 

Archival collections are unique, rare, and one-of-a-kind, primary sources that document people, places, organizations, and events in history.  Examples of archival materials include letters, diaries, photographs, moving image films, sound recordings, or organizational papers. Our Archives include many collections pertaining to local history.

Special collections usually contain rare books or manuscripts. At CU Boulder, Special Collections holds a very large number of fine art photography books as well as artist books, both from the past and present. Although some of these books are new, they can only be used in the Rare and Distinctive Collections reading room because we aim to preserve them for hundreds of years.

Our Virtual Reading Room is now live! If you want face-to-face help navigating our collections, you can join us there Mondays-Thursdays from 11a-3p and Tuesdays-Thursday 7-8pm. Visit us here for more information.

From the CU Boulder Libraries' Special Collections & Archives

Please note that the Rare and Distinctive Collections Reading Room in Norlin Library is currently closed until further notice, due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

The titles below link to "finding aids," or guides to archival collections, that are available and key word searchable online at ArchivesSpace at CU Boulder, a database of over 1,600 collections available for research at the CU Boulder Libraries' Archives. Click on each link to explore the contents of each collection.  Contact the CU Boulder Libraries' Archives at for information on how to view these collections.

From the Boulder Gay Liberation collection (COU:193), Rare and Distinctive collections, University of Colorado Libraries. 

Boulder Gay Liberation collection (COU: 193). The Boulder Gay Liberation Front was founded in 1970 as a student group at CU Boulder. They hosted monthly dances at Hidden Valley Ranch which drew hundreds of people. They also published a newsletter under multiple names including the Boulder Gay Record and the Gayly Planet. It was the first known LGBTQ club in Boulder's history and formed concurrently with the first gay marches occurring nationally in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These materials include newspaper clippings from Boulder/Denver area, pamphlets, fliers and posters from dances, events, and parties held by the Boulder Gay Liberation including dances at Hidden Valley Ranch, and t-shirts. It also includes local publications.

CU Feminist Alliance Women's Liberation Coalition records (COU:599). This collection contains papers of the University of Colorado Feminist Alliance and Women’s Liberation Coalition. Materials consist of a collection of subject folders, women’s organizations newspapers, and record-keeping books. The Women’s Liberation Coalition was founded in 1972 during second wave feminism occurring in America in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In 1979 the Coalition changed its name to the Feminist Alliance. The group operated through activism in the community, organization, information dispersal, and in relation to other feminist organizations. The accomplishments of FA/WLC include the organization of the Take Back the Night March, the implementation of a Women’s Studies Program, the banning of the use of pornography on campus, and the organization of the International Women’s Week. Materials from the Lesbian Caucus and many other organizations are also included.

CU student groups, organizations, activities collection (COU:5036).  The publications in this collection date back to 1877 and run through the 1980s. Encompassing approximately 45 different publications, this collection includes a range of publications including the Boulder Gay Record, the Cosmo Club, the Conservative Club, the Debate Club, the Faculty Women's Club, publications about the Indigenous American movement, and the Boulder chapter of Students for a Democratic Society among many others.

University of Colorado President's Office records (COU:3283).  The University of Colorado President’s Office Papers contains topical files and correspondence from the office’s establishment in1913 up to 1995. Subjects include Americanization, World War I, Klauder campus architecture, World War II, McCarthyism, In Loco Parentis, the transformation of the University into a research institution, the anti-Vietnam War student movement, the expansion of the University into four campuses, minority rights, gender equity, and methods used by the University to confront variations in State and Federal financial support. Of particular note to this topic are files from the Coach McCartney/Colorado for Family Values issues of 1991-1992. The files largely include the state reaction to an anti-Gay/Lesbian made at a January 1992 press conference by Coach McCartney.

University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor's Office records (COU:2347).   Papers contain the files, reports, correspondence, speeches, memoranda, and policies of the Chancellor's Office, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Colorado Daily. The student newspaper contains great information about campus events, clubs, and student issues and concerns, including those related to the LGBTQIA+ community on campus. The newspaper started as the Silver and Gold in 1892 and was renamed the Colorado Daily in 1953. The Libraries contains microfilm copies of the material (linked here) as well as paper versions available through the archives. 

Fine Art Photography Books in Special Collections

Pride and Joy

Pride and Joy is a celebration of 15 years of the New York City Pride Parade, documented in a dazzling series of photographs and featuring a major introductory essay by comedian and activist Kate Clinton. Exquisitely presented, the book includes interviews with members of the queer community about their relationship to the march, offering a startling variety of responses to this integral part of New York life. Energetic, colourful and irreverent, these images are a playful confirmation of equality.


It began in New York City on June 28, 1969.   When police raided the Stonewall Inn--a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, known as a safe haven for gay men--violent demonstrations and protests broke out in response. The Stonewall Riots, as they would come to be known, were the first spark in the wildfire that would become the LGBTQ rights revolution. Fifty years later, the LGBTQ community and its supporters continue to gather every June to commemorate this historic event.   Here, collected for the first time by The New York Times, is a powerful visual history of five decades of parades and protests of the LGBTQ rights movement. These photos, paired with descriptions of major events from each decade as well as selected reporting from The Times, showcase the victories, setbacks, and ongoing struggles for the LGBTQ community.  

Speaking OUT

Speaking OUT: Queer Youth In Focus is a photographic essay that explores a wide spectrum of experiences told from the perspective of a diverse group of young people, ages 14 to 24, identifying as queer. Portraits are presented without judgment or stereotype by eliminating environmental influence with a stark white backdrop. This backdrop acts as a blank canvas, where each subject's personal thoughts are handwritten onto the final photographic print. Speaking OUT provides rare insight into the passions, joys and sorrows felt by LGBT youth.


"An award-winning photojournalist displays a panoramic view of lesbian and gay life as never seen before. Family is a vivid assemblage of seventy black-and-white photographs accompanied by interviews and personal stories that bend stereotypes and present a brave new vision of the diverse lives of lesbians and gay men."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The New Art of Capturing Love

The first guide to posing and sensitively capturing same-sex couples on their big day, The New Art of Capturing Love equips semi-pro and professional wedding photographers to enter the exciting new LGBT wedding photography market. These are exciting times for marriage equality--but capturing memorable LGBTQ portraits requires a novel approach to posing, which until now has been nearly exclusively oriented toward pairing a taller man in black with a smaller woman in white. What works for Jack and Jill won't necessarily work for Jack and Michael, let alone Jill and Louise.nbsp;The New Art of Capturing Lovenbsp;shatters the "old standards" of wedding and engagement photography by showing how inappropriate they can be for today's diverse couples, then shares easy-to-implement poses and techniques that can be applied to any couple (and wedding party), no matter their orientations, to create lasting memories. nbsp; nbsp; nbsp; Featuring a collection of more than 180 same-sex portraits from 46 photographers, this guide is proudly the first--and most comprehensive--of its kind. Whether you are a wedding photographer looking to enter this burgeoning market, or a gay or lesbian couple looking for visual inspiration, these gorgeous images will both instruct and inspire.

From Other Archives

Placard carried by Jeanne Manford in the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, June 1972. Jeanne Manford Papers at NYPL. 

  • NYPL Gay and Lesbian Collections & AIDS/HIV Collections. The Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library holds over 100 collections pertaining to the history and culture of gay men and lesbians, and to the history of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.
  • Lesbian Herstory Archives (New York).   Digital database containing over 125,000 songs celebrating North America’s Spanish-language musical heritage.
  • Denver Public Libraries Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual And Transgender collections. The Western History and Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library houses organizational records of Equality Colorado and other pioneering community groups, as well as collections of personal papers of notable Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Coloradans.
  • GLBT Historical Society Holds approximately 800 collections of personal papers, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and organizational records in San Francisco, CA.
  • Digital Transgender Archive A collaboration of more than fifty colleges, universities, organizations, public libraries, and private collections to increase the accessibility of transgender history.
  • The LGBT Community Center National History Archive. The Center Archive contains a wide range of media from as early as 1920, including photography, correspondence, news clippings, radio sound bytes, video broadcasts, and personal journals. The Center is based in New York City, and contains both a physical and digital collection.


Oral Histories: 


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