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History Reference Collection »
From an overview of same-sex relations in colonial America to a short history of gays and lesbians in Chicago, find articles from over 50 reference works in history, including the Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History in America.
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Use these resources on any Chicago Public Library computer or on non-Library computers with your Chicago Public Library card.
Chicago Defender Historical Archive »
Search the complete text, including classified and display advertisements, from 1910 to 1975 of this nationally significant African American newspaper. Of particular note is the paper’s coverage of the drag balls of the 1950s.
Chicago Tribune Historical Archive »
LGBT persons have been visible in the pages of the Chicago Tribune for over a hundred years. The archive, which covers the earliest available issues up through 1988, offers news of women passing as men, bar raids, demonstrations, early attempts at passing a human rights ordinance in Chicago and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago.
American History Online » teen pick
Find overviews of events and topics, biographies, primary sources, images and videos, and maps and charts from a wide range of history reference books and related sources.
EBSCO Magazines & Journals »
Find articles from general interest magazines and scholarly journals.
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Featured CPL Collections and Programs
- Celebrating Diversity: LGBT Pride Month »
Every June, the Chicago Public Library celebrates the achievements and contributions of LGBT people through events and exhibits and by highlighting select library resources.
- Social Science and History Department »
The Social Science and History Department at the Harold Washington Library Center has a broad range of material on world, U.S., local and ethnic history, with a particular emphasis on Chicago history.
- Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame »
The first city-sponsored project of its kind in the nation, the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame has honored and memorialized LGBT people, their organizations and allies since 1991. The project’s website includes biographies/histories of all inductees.
- Encyclopedia of Chicago »
A project of the Chicago History Museum, the Newberry Library and Northwestern University, this online version of the award-winning print encyclopedia includes numerous articles of interest, including articles on gays and lesbians and gay and lesbian rights movements in Chicago.
- Gerber/Hart Library »
For over 25 years, this community-run library has collected a wide range of materials—from the files of LGBT organizations to community newspapers to T-shirts—that tell the story of the LGBT community in Chicago and the Midwest.
- Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals »
This site, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, offers an online exhibit, articles from the Holocaust Encyclopedia and streaming audio of a symposium on the topic.
- NYPL Digital Gallery »
Photographs from the papers of activists Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen (bio) document the gay rights movement from the mid-1960s through the 1970s and are complemented by a collection of photographs from the early 1970s and early 1980s by activist Richard Wandel. Subjects include homophile movement demonstrations of the 1960s (info) and early gay pride marches in New York (info), organizations such as the Gay Activists Alliance (info), and other activists of the time, including Ernestine Eckstein (bio), Frank Kameny (bio), Sylvia Rivera (bio), Craig Rodwell (bio) and Randy Wicker (bio).