Our Collections

Our Holdings

Since 1973, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) has been acquiring and preserving material documenting LGBTQ+ history. The CLGA’s mandate is to acquire, preserve, organize, and provide public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBTQ+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada.

Personal Papers and Organizational Records

The CLGA houses papers and records documenting many Canadian LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations. More detailed information about fonds and collections at the CLGA can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Periodicals

The CLGA houses the world’s largest collection of LGBTQ+ periodicals. We currently have over 9,700 unique titles in the collection. The guide “Our Own Voices: A Directory of Lesbian and Gay Periodicals, 1890s to 2000s”, compiled by long-time CLGA volunteer Alan Miller, lists more than 7,200 titles from all over the world, most of them held at the CLGA.

The James Fraser Library

Our collection of books and monographs, named for the CLGA’s first volunteer archivist, James Fraser, contains over 11,000 titles from both Canadian and international authors. The collection consists of both non-fiction and fiction, including a large collection of “pulp” fiction. Material in the James Fraser Library is non-circulating and available for reference only.

Vertical Files

The CLGA maintains a collection of vertical (subject) files relating to people, organizations, and events. The majority of these files relate to subjects in Canada, while the remainder are organized by the United States and other international countries. Guides to the over 33,000 vertical files can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Photographs

The CLGA’s collection of photographs includes prints, negatives, slides, and digital files, documenting LGBTQ+ people, locations, and events, such as demonstrations, conferences, parades, parties, plays and shows. Many of the photographs form part of an archival fonds or collection.

Posters

The poster collection consists of thousands of posters, of all sizes, relating to parties, dances, concerts, bars, plays, films, and art exhibitions. A guide to the posters can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Sound Recordings

The Music and Audio collections contain reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl LPs, audiocassettes, and digital media. The collections consist of all genres including, but not limited to, commercially produced music, oral histories, radio broadcasts, and recordings of events or political protests.

Moving Images

The Moving Images collection includes films, filmstrips, videocassettes, DVDs, and digital media. The collection consists of all genres, including, but not limited to: feature films, documentaries, footage recorded from television programs, original productions, and erotica.

Artifacts

In addition to records and published material, the CLGA also collects artifacts relating to the LGBTQ+ communities. The artifact collection includes buttons and pins, t-shirts, matchbook covers, trophies and plaques, and leather gear.

Art

The Archives accepts paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other creative works that are created by or have historical and cultural significance for LGBTQ+ Canada. For more details, see the Art Collection Policy.

More detailed information about what we collect can be found in our Acquisitions Policy.

Our Holdings

Since 1973, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) has been acquiring and preserving material documenting LGBTQ+ history. The CLGA’s mandate is to acquire, preserve, organize, and provide public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBTQ+ people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada.

Personal Papers and Organizational Records

The CLGA houses papers and records documenting many Canadian LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations. More detailed information about fonds and collections at the CLGA can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Periodicals

The CLGA houses the world’s largest collection of LGBTQ+ periodicals. We currently have over 9,700 unique titles in the collection. The guide “Our Own Voices: A Directory of Lesbian and Gay Periodicals, 1890s to 2000s”, compiled by long-time CLGA volunteer Alan Miller, lists more than 7,200 titles from all over the world, most of them held at the CLGA.

The James Fraser Library

Our collection of books and monographs, named for the CLGA’s first volunteer archivist, James Fraser, contains over 11,000 titles from both Canadian and international authors. The collection consists of both non-fiction and fiction, including a large collection of “pulp” fiction. Material in the James Fraser Library is non-circulating and available for reference only.

Vertical Files

The CLGA maintains a collection of vertical (subject) files relating to people, organizations, and events. The majority of these files relate to subjects in Canada, while the remainder are organized by the United States and other international countries. Guides to the over 33,000 vertical files can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Photographs

The CLGA’s collection of photographs includes prints, negatives, slides, and digital files, documenting LGBTQ+ people, locations, and events, such as demonstrations, conferences, parades, parties, plays and shows. Many of the photographs form part of an archival fonds or collection.

Posters

The poster collection consists of thousands of posters, of all sizes, relating to parties, dances, concerts, bars, plays, films, and art exhibitions. A guide to the posters can be found on the Finding Aids and Guides page.

Sound Recordings

The Music and Audio collections contain reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl LPs, audiocassettes, and digital media. The collections consist of all genres including, but not limited to, commercially produced music, oral histories, radio broadcasts, and recordings of events or political protests.

Moving Images

The Moving Images collection includes films, filmstrips, videocassettes, DVDs, and digital media. The collection consists of all genres, including, but not limited to: feature films, documentaries, footage recorded from television programs, original productions, and erotica.

Artifacts

In addition to records and published material, the CLGA also collects artifacts relating to the LGBTQ+ communities. The artifact collection includes buttons and pins, t-shirts, matchbook covers, trophies and plaques, and leather gear.

Art

The Archives accepts paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other creative works that are created by or have historical and cultural significance for LGBTQ+ Canada. For more details, see the Art Collection Policy.

More detailed information about what we collect can be found in our Acquisitions Policy.

CONTACT US


Telephone: 416-777-2755
Email: queeries@clga.ca

Street Address:
34 Isabella Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1N1

Mailing Address:
Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
P.O. Box 699
663A Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z9

PUBLIC HOURS


6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Friday

NOTE TO RESEARCHERS:
Some of our materials are stored off site. Before visiting the archives, please send us an email at queeries@clga.ca listing in detail the topics and sources that you wish to consult and we will let you know when they will be available. We aim to respond to email inquiries within 4 business days.

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is located on the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Today, Toronto is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

The CLGA strives to gather the stories of the unheard and silenced voices of the 2SLGBTQ+ first peoples of this land. We acknowledge that some stories have already been lost, and we aim to ensure that those that remain and those that are to come are preserved for the future.