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Lesbian Studies: Oral History Collections

The research and study of lesbians.

Lesbian Oral History Collections

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Oral history collections have sound recordings and video recordings. There are quite a few projects dedicated solely to lesbians. You will find that there are individual interviews in collections described as "gay" or as "LGBTQ." Lesbian oral histories date back to about the 1970s, and may or may not have accompanying transcripts. Below are the titles of a few collections and individual recordings with women who identify or identified as lesbian at the time of the interview.

Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony

Founded in 2010. The Archives of Lesbian Oral History collects and makes available the oral histories of people who presently or at one time identified as lesbian. Includes oral history audio tapes, radio and television program tapes, as well as video and film produced by documentary filmmakers, and home video and film. Supported by and operates out of Simon Fraser University Library's department of Special Collections and Rare Books.

Arden Eversmeyer Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project

Find More Lesbian Oral Histories

Search for more lesbian oral history interviews.  Here is a sample search that will give a broad range of results [lesbian "oral history" ].  Use the format options on the left side of the page to narrow your search.  Please note that the interviews will not be held at the University of Kentucky Libraries (UK).  Contact the UK Interlibrary Loan Office for help in obtaining your selection of interviews.

Karen Doherty - Co-founder of Conference for Catholic Lesbians

Karen Doherty's oral history is part of the LGBT-RAN's Oral History Project at the Religious Archives Network site titled "Hearing the voices and memories of early leaders and activists." The collection contains in-depth interviews with a diverse group of early LGBT religious leaders. In 1983, Karen Doherty was co-founder of the Conference for Catholic Lesbians. The group is now defunct and the organization's collection is housed at the Religious Archives Network. Karen Doherty's profile is available online along with her oral history interview. The Religious Archives Network is located at 1789 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA.

LGBT Religious Archives Network

The LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN) is an innovative venture in preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) religious movements around the world. 

Lesbian Herstories Archives: Herstories Audio/Visual Collection

The Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world's largest collection of materials by and about lesbians and their communities. Herstories: Audio/Visual Collections contains digitized copies of some of the 3,000 oral history cassettes in the Archives Spoken Word Collection and 950 videotapes in the Video Collection. The majority of the collection is NOT available online. The few items with online access are available via the collections page. Lesbian Herstory Archives is located at 484 14th Street in Brooklyn, NY.

Los Angeles Feminists

The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project

A collection of interviews to document and appreciate the lives of lesbians born in the first half of the 1900s. The Project was created by Arden Eversmeyer. As of January 2022, the Project has conducted over 750 interviews. Collection housed at Smith College Special Collections in Northampton, MA.  

Outliers and Outlaws: The Eugene Lesbian History Project

The Eugene Lesbian History Project is a community-based, digital humanities project that preserves and shares the unique history of the lesbian community in Eugene, Oregon. The project includes filmed oral histories with 83 narrators, a digital exhibit, and a documentary film.

Rochella Thorpe Oral History Project Files


UK Libraries SPOKEdb

LGBTQ History Digital Collaboratory