About us

The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives were established in 1978 at the Fourth National Homosexual Conference. We are based in Melbourne and operate with the assistance of members and supporters interstate.

The Archives are the only community group in Australia that actively collects and preserves lesbian and gay material from across the country, and makes it readily accessible.

Our brochure tells you more (pdf, 107 KB).

You’ll find details of our recent activities in our annual report (pdf, 1 MB). You can also read our past annual reports.

 

Purpose

The purpose of the Archives is to

  • collect and preserve historically significant materials that document the lives of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered people, and queers of all kinds;
  • educate the public about the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in all their diversity through public programs, exhibits, and publications.

The collections include material of national or international scope, but the heart of the Archives’ work is the collection and preservation of the historical life of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities of Australia. From the time of the Gold Rush to the battles against AIDS, the collections save our rich and diverse histories for us and future generations.

The works of writers, artists, photographers, and performers; the papers of leaders; the records of community organizations; the posters, flyers, buttons, matchbooks of political movements or trends or bars and other venues; the stories that record our own lives and those of our lovers and friends … all these document the history of our community and of the individuals who form it.

The Archives preserve these materials and make them accessible to students, historians, and anyone else who is interested.

 

Governance

The Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives Inc. is a community-based, nonprofit organization, incorporated under Victorian law. The association is run democratically, by an elected committee of management, so ownership and control of the collection remain within the lesbian and gay communities. We are independent of any other organization.

Revenue is generated from membership fees, fundraising, and tax-deductible donations. The Victorian AIDS Council provides our current accommodation rent-free. The Archives are an income tax exempt charity and a deductible gift recipient under Australian taxation law.

If you’d like to become a member, click here.

 

What we do

  • We preserve historical materials and make them accessible to students, historians and anyone else who is interested.
  • We publish books and other materials on gay and lesbian histories.
  • We auspice the Australia’s Homosexual Histories conference series.
  • We run a Queer History Walk during Melbourne’s annual Midsumma gay and lesbian festival.
  • We award a prize for undergraduate theses deposited with the Archives.
  • We manage an e-group, ozhomohist, for posting news items on issues and events about Australia’s gay, lesbian and queer histories.
  • We give in-kind support to non-profit projects that have similar or parallel aims to ours.