LGBTQ Community Collections

The Oregon Historical Society’s research library holds an extensive collection of manuscripts, photographs, publications, and oral histories that document the experiences and achievements of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) communities in the Pacific Northwest. This guide highlights a selection of those materials by format. Researchers are also encouraged to search the library catalog and consult with reference librarians for additional resources related to their specific research topic.

OHS is a proud partner of the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN). Since the organization’s founding in 1994, GLAPN advocates have worked with OHS to document and preserve queer cultural history in the Pacific Northwest. Materials collected by GLAPN currently comprise 30 separate collections that document the gay rights movement and prominent cultural events and figures within the LGBTQ community in the region. GLAPN collections at OHS are designated Mss 2988-1 through Mss 2988-30.

Please note that preferred terms for identities among members of the LGBTQ community have undergone substantial change and continue to do so. OHS collection descriptions document the terminology specific to the historic era and subjects reflected in materials wherever possible. This may include terms that are now considered outdated or derogatory.

Basic Rights Oregon records, 1978–2017, Coll 689

Records, correspondence, and ephemera relating to the activities of Basic Rights Oregon, an LGBTQ advocacy group, and to other gay rights issues in Oregon.

Catalog Record

Bonnie Tinker collection, 1980–2010, Coll 209

Papers of Bonnie Tinker, a political activist from Portland, Oregon, who championed lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights; headed the organization Love Makes a Family, devoted to same-sex families; and hosted a radio program by the same name. Materials date mostly from the late 1990s and 2000s and consist of records of Love Makes a Family and of other organizations and activities in which Tinker participated.

Collection Guide

Campaign for a Hate Free Oregon records, 1989–1993 Mss 2988-3 (GLAPN)

Records of the Campaign for a Hate Free Oregon, an Oregon political organization that opposed anti-lesbian/gay ballot initiatives in the early 1990s. Includes correspondence, contribution lists, records, and receipts of expenditures, bank statements, volunteer and employee logs, election reports to the Oregon Secretary of State, and organizing and strategy materials. The organization was also known as the Right To Privacy PAC and the “No On 9” campaign of 1992–1993.

Collection Guide

Cascade AIDS Project records, 1977-2016, Coll 859

Records of and materials compiled by Cascade AIDS Project, an organization that provides services and advocacy for people with AIDS in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The collection also includes materials relating to other AIDS activism and gay rights activism, most notably records of the Portland Chapter of AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP).

Collection Guide

C.C. Slaughters records, circa 1981–2008, Mss 2988-6 (GLAPN)

Collection includes the records and correspondence of C.C. Slaughters, a gay bar in Portland, Oregon, that opened in 1981. Materials include floor plans, correspondence with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, menus, financial records, and materials relating to events either held at or supported by the bar.

Collection Guide

Charles F. Hinkle collection, 1966–2009, Mss 2988-18 (GLAPN)

Papers of Charles F. Hinkle, an Oregon civil rights attorney and activist for lesbian and gay rights. Most of the materials relate to Oregon anti-gay ballot measures and political campaigns in the 1990s and include speeches, research materials, audio recordings, and videotapes.

Collection Guide

Christine Tanner papers, 1981–2000, Mss 2988-17 (GLAPN)

Papers of Christine Tanner, a professor at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, regarding her successful 1992 lawsuit against the school to secure medical benefits for same-sex partners of employees. The papers include agendas, legal briefs, notes, outreach documents, and correspondence, including thank-you letters, a letter from President Bill Clinton stating his opposition to gay marriage, and one anti-gay hate letter. Also includes materials relating to the organization Portland Coalition for Rights for Domestic Partners.

Catalog Record:

Dignity collection, 1980–1998, Mss 2988-5 (GLAPN)

Collection includes financial records, meeting minutes, newsletters, and correspondence of the Portland, Oregon, chapter of Dignity, a gay and lesbian Catholic organization.

Collection Guide

Gail Shibley collection, 1990–2007, Coll 285

Collection of photographs, clippings, ephemera, and related materials documenting the career of Gail Shibley, a lawyer, lesbian activist, and Oregon state legislator who was the first openly gay person to serve in the Oregon State Legislature.

Collection Guide

Gary Smith collection, 1992–1997, Mss 2988-24 (GLAPN)

Materials relating to pro–lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) political action in the 1990s in Oregon, including records of Campaign for a Hate-Free Oregon, Mid-Willamette Chapter, and the Equal Rights PAC, all of which opposed the anti-gay measures of the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance. Materials include correspondence, campaign ephemera, video, and tabulations of surveys regarding LGBT issues. Much of the collection focuses on activities in Keizer and Salem, Oregon.

Collection Guide

Gay and lesbian history collection, 1968–2014, Mss 2988-1 (GLAPN)

The collection includes brochures, newsletters, press releases, and other materials produced by a wide variety of community, religious, and social service organizations actively supporting the gay and lesbian community of Portland, Oregon, and throughout the state, during the early to mid-1990s.

Collection Guide

Gay and lesbian legal collection, 1912–1928, Mss 2988-14 (GLAPN)

Collection includes photocopy transcripts of trials of Portland men accused of sodomy, including: Oregon State v. McAllister, 1912; Oregon State v. Start, 1913; Oregon State v. Brazell, 1928; and an index to the trials of the “Vice Clique,” 1912.

Collection Guide

Gay and lesbian organizations collection, 1972–1996, Mss 2988-4 (GLAPN)

Collection includes flyers, brochures, press releases, programs, and miscellaneous items for a variety of gay and lesbian organizations, mainly in the Portland, Oregon, area, with a small amount of information from Seattle, Washington. Represented organizations include Radical Activist Truth Squad (RATS), AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACTUP), Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, Educators for Equity, and the Gay Activists Alliance.

Collection Guide

Gay and Lesbian periodicals collection, 1970–2008, Mss 2988-7 (GLAPN)

A collection of newspapers, newsletters, magazines, and other periodicals relating to the LGBTQ communities in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Also see the “Periodicals” section of this research guide for additional LGBTQ-related publications available at the library.

Collection Guide

Holly Pruett papers, 1969–2004, Coll 679

Papers relating to Holly Pruett’s work in gay rights activism, particularly with the 1994 “No on 13” campaign.

Collection Guide

James Anctil papers, circa 1930–1997, Mss 2988-8 (GLAPN)

Personal papers of James Anctil (1943–1997), a Portland-area gay activist, educator, and artist. Includes extensive personal diaries, correspondence, subject files, and files on gay organizations.

Collection Guide

Jeanine Wittcke papers, 1988–2002, Mss 2988-19 (GLAPN)

Collection consists of documents, flyers, brochures, rosters, printed emails, marketing and political materials, and correspondence related to Portland, Oregon, activist Jeanine Wittcke and her involvement in LGBT causes and organizations during the early 1990s. Includes materials relating to the 1993 lesbian/gay march on Washington, D.C., and the Employee Association for Gay and Lesbian Employees of US West.

Collection Guide

Jim Gersbach AIDS collection, 1987–1998, Mss 2988-9 (GLAPN)

Collection includes materials concerning the AIDS and HIV epidemic, primarily related to Oregon and Washington State. Includes government reports, news articles, social service agency brochures, and medical information. Of special interest is an “Ora-Shure” HIV testing kit, manufactured in Oregon.

Collection Guide

John Terrill papers, 1980–2009, Mss 2988-16 (GLAPN)

Papers of an AIDS activist from Portland, Oregon, primarily containing files of the Cascade AIDS Project and Our House, a residential care and hospice facility for people with AIDS. Most files date from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

Collection Guide

Lesbian and gay choruses collection, 1986–1998, Mss 2988-11 (GLAPN)

Materials documenting the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus, the Portland Lesbian Choir, the Bridges Vocal Ensemble, and Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) events. Includes programs, sheet music, ephemera, and photographs relating to concerts, tours, and other events by the ensembles.

Collection Guide

Lesbian and Gay Pride Collection, 1982–2004, Mss 2988-10 (GLAPN)

Records of Lesbian and Gay Pride, Inc., a Portland-based education and advocacy organization in Oregon. Items include programs, financial information, contracts and permits, correspondence, planning minutes, and miscellaneous items for annual Gay Pride festivals and marches held in Portland and Salem, Oregon, and Vancouver, British Columbia. The bulk of the material relates to Portland. The collection also includes material concerning discrimination, the Oregon Citizens Alliance and its anti-gay Measure 9 from 1992, and the 1995 murders of lesbian partners Roxane Ellis and Michelle Abdill of Medford, Oregon.

Collection Guide

Lesbian Community Project records, 1976–2008, Mss 2988-12 (GLAPN)

Records of the Lesbian Community Project (LCP), a political activism group headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Includes correspondence, minutes of meetings, publications, files on organizations and issues, and photographs. Materials date primarily from the late 1980s to the early 2000s.

Collection Guide

Libby Durbin papers, circa 1975–2012, Mss 2988-21 (GLAPN)

Materials primarily related to the Oregon Task Force on Sexual Preference and on the Counseling Center for Sexual Minorities of Portland, Oregon. Includes minutes from task force meetings, memos, newspaper articles, minutes of meetings, and daily logs of Libby Durbin when working at the Counseling Center. Also includes letters from Oregonians who are either for or against the task force and testimonials of gays and lesbians describing their lives in Oregon.

Catalog Record

Linda Jean Campbell papers, 1946–2018, Mss 2988-30 (GLAPN)

The collection consists of photographs of Campbell in uniform while serving in the Air Force; a printout of an Oregonian article about Campbell’s successful efforts to have her spouse, Nancy Lynchild, buried at Willamette National Cemetery; an email from Campbell recounting her time in Washington, D.C., during oral arguments for the U.S. Supreme Court cases Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor; copies of Campbell’s 2014 speech, “Do Ask, Do Tell;” Campbell’s obituary; and a program for Campbell’s memorial service.

Catalog Record

Margaret O’Hartigan papers, 1988–1999, Mss 2988-22 (GLAPN)

Records and newsletters of the Portland, Oregon, transgender organization Rose City Gender Center (RSGC). Collection includes correspondence; RCGC bills and finances; RCGC official documents and bylaws; RCGC newsletters, 1987–1991; FTM newsletters, 1987–1999; and Northwest Gender Alliance newsletters, 1993–1994.

Catalog Record:

Marie D. Equi collection, 1872–1952, Mss 2988-13 (GLAPN)

Photocopies of papers relating to Marie D. Equi, an Oregon physician, feminist, social activist, and open lesbian who lived in The Dalles, Oregon, in the 1890s, and in Portland, Oregon, from 1901 until her death in 1952. The collection includes biographical material, correspondence (intercepted by the U.S. Department of Justice) written to and from Equi while in prison in California on an anti-war charge in 1921, other Department of Justice files, and anti-war trial legal documents.

Catalog Record

Mary Beth Brindley papers, 1999–2009, Mss 2988-26 (GLAPN)

Papers of Mary Beth Brindley, primarily relating to organizations to which she belonged. Brindley was a charter member of Older Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC) and Senior Housing and Retirement Enterprises (SHARE).

Collection Guide

Multnomah County (Or.) Wedding Album Project records, ca. 2004–2005, Coll. 62

Materials collected by the Multnomah County Board of Supervisors relating to the marriages of same-sex couples in 2004, including photographs, personal histories, testimonials, and letters of appreciation.

Collection Guide

Pacific Northwest lesbian-feminist publications, 1965–2000, Coll 727

Literary works, resource guides, periodicals, and other written material concerning lesbian and feminist issues, particularly in Oregon and Washington, compiled by Wendy Judith Cutler.

Collection Guide

Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays Portland Chapter records, 1973–2009, Mss 2988-25 (GLAPN)

Records include brochures, pamphlets, notes, and newspaper clippings regarding gay rights issues collected by Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), including PFLAG’s efforts to combat anti-gay legislation such as Oregon Measure 9 and Oregon Measure 36. The collection also includes PFLAG newsletters and materials related to the 1986 national PFLAG convention in Portland, Oregon.

Collection Guide

Portland Gay Softball League records, 1982–1986, Mss 2988-29 (GLAPN)

The collection primarily consists of administrative and financial records of the league, such as checks, receipts, bylaws, and permits. Also included are schedules, clippings, and brackets concerning league tournaments, and records relating to the Oregon Gay Softball Association and the Oregon Gay Softball League All-Stars.

Catalog Record

Portland Town Council records, 1974–1982, Coll 256

Records of a gay and lesbian organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon, that included political, social, and community development components. Most of the materials date from the 1970s and early 1980s and were collected by John E. Baker. Collection includes correspondence, meeting minutes, and subject files on issues relating to lesbian and gay political action.

Collection Guide

Proclamation designating October 2017 LGBTQ History Month, 2017, Mss 2988-27 (GLAPN)

A copy of the official proclamation designating October 2017 as LGBTQ History Month in Oregon, signed by Governor Kate Brown and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.

Catalog Record

Queer Nation (Portland, Or.) collection, 1989–1993, Mss 2988-23 (GLAPN)

Collection consists of records for Queer Nation’s Portland, Oregon, chapter. The organization promoted the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the early 1990s. Includes leaflets, posters, correspondence, news clippings, and agendas. Many of the items pertain to the 1992 anti-gay Measure 9 in Oregon, sponsored by the Oregon Citizens Alliance. Most materials were collected by Andrew Leavitt. Also includes materials from other LGBTQ organizations such as ACT-UP and RATS.

Collection Guide

Right to Privacy Political Action Committee records, 1983–1991, Coll 281

Records of a lesbian and gay political action organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and active in fundraising for state politics during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Materials were collected by John E. Baker, who chaired the organization.

Collection Guide

Roger Troen collection, 1970–1979, Mss 2988-2 (GLAPN)

The papers of Roger Troen, a gay activist from Portland, Oregon. Troen ran unsuccessfully for the state House of Representatives in 1972 as the first openly gay candidate for a state office in Oregon. The collection includes national magazines containing articles about homosexuality and gay civil rights, a variety of local publications from Oregon and Washington, clippings from local newspapers about gay rights issues, correspondence, and miscellaneous political information from the 1970s.

Collection Guide

Shepherd family papers, 1931–2002, Mss 2988-15 (GLAPN)

Papers of Susan (Susie) M. Shepherd and her parents, Ann M. Shepherd and William K. Shepherd, primarily related to lesbian and gay issues during the 1970s and 1980s. Includes personal and family correspondence, legislative materials, files of the Portland Town Council, files on churches and religious groups, subject and clipping files, and a small number of photographs.

Collection Guide

Special Righteousness Committee collection, 1980–2002, Mss 2988-20 (GLAPN)

Materials created by the Special Righteousness Committee, an Oregon organization opposed to the Oregon Citizens Alliance and the anti-gay Oregon Measure 9 in 1992, including humorous political artwork. Also includes materials related to the Radical Faeries and other organizations.

Collection Guide

Susan Dobrof papers, ca. 1970–1983, Coll 336

Photocopies of correspondence and other documents relating to an oral history of Susan Dobrof, a lesbian activist and lawyer from Portland, Oregon. Includes letters to her parents, materials relating to the Portland Town Council, and lesbian and gay issues in Oregon and nationwide.

Catalog Record

Susan Leo collection, 1969–1992, Coll 465

Collection consists of posters, calendars, and other ephemera, as well as clippings and publications, correspondence, and photographs relating to lesbian and gay events and issues, the women’s and anti-war movements, Nicaragua and Ben Linder, and politics.

Catalog Record

Vertical Files — Portland — Gay Liberation

Clippings, documents, and other ephemera concerning the gay community and gay liberation in Portland. Includes tour of sites in downtown Portland related to LGBTQ history written by Tom Cook and revised by George Painter. Also includes a chronology of LGBTQ-related laws and legislation in Oregon written by George Nicola.

Catalog Record

OHS’s oral history collection includes approximately 200 interviews with members of the LGBTQ community and allies. Many of these interviews were conducted through a partnership between GLAPN and Portland State University, which connects students with elders in the LGBTQ community to document their experiences.

OHS’s audio collection also includes recordings of episodes of the radio shows Homophile Half Hour (1971–1973) and Love Makes a Family (1993–1997). Contact reference staff for more information about accessing these recordings.

A selection of the interviews from the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest oral histories are available online through OHS Digital Collections. Interviews that have not yet been digitized may have audio tapes, transcripts, or both for researchers to access when visiting the library reading room.

In addition to these photograph collections, there are also photographs present in many of the manuscript collections. Refer to the research guides for individual collections to locate visual materials within manuscript collections.

LGBT event photographs, 1970–1989, Coll 421

80 photographs of LGBT community events and demonstrations collected by Sarah Cook.

Catalog Record

Pat Ware photograph collection, circa 1950–1995, Mss 2988-28 (GLAPN)

Photographs relating to Pat Ware, who was a member of the Portland Lesbian Choir. In addition to images relating to her choir activities, the collection includes photographs of Ware as a child, of Ware’s partner, Sher, and other people Ware knew.

Catalog Record

Photo file — Portland — Demonstrations, marches, etc., Photo File 1922

Includes photographs of gay rights demonstrations and marches.

Catalog Record

OHS’s research library holds magazines, newspapers, and other publications that members of the LGBTQ community produced or which contain articles significant to the history of the Pacific Northwest gay rights movement. The list below is a selection of titles the library holds and the approximate years of our holdings. The library may not hold all years or all issues of a title, and it may also hold relevant publications that are not represented in the library catalog, or that are part of larger manuscript collections. If you are looking for a specific title or issue not listed here or in the library catalog, please contact a reference librarian for assistance.

For more context on the history of LGBTQ publications in Oregon, see “Periodical Print Mass Media in the Oregon LGBTQ Movement” by George T. Nicola.

Publication title and approximate years held by OHS

Cascade Voice, 1982–1984

Eagle News Magazine, 1985

Fountain, 1971–1973

Just Out, 1984–2011

Northwest Fountain, 1980–1983

Northwest Gay and Lesbian Historian, 1996–1997

Northwest Gay Review, 1974–1978

Oregon Rainbow, 1976–1978

Portland Town Council Newsletter, 1975–1983. Variant titles include Gay Rights, Oregon Gay Rights Report

Portland Scribe, 1972–1977. Underground newspaper that included coverage of the gay rights movement.

Willamette Bridge, 1969–1971. Underground newspaper that included coverage of the gay rights movement.

Womanspirit, 1974–1975

Additional LGBTQ periodicals held at OHS are available in the Gay and Lesbian periodicals collection, Mss 2988-7, and the Pacific Northwest lesbian-feminist publications, Coll 727.

Boag, Peter. “‘Does Portland Need a Homophile Society?’: Gay Culture and Activism in the Rose City between World War II and Stonewall.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 105:1 (Spring 2004): 6–39.
———. “Sex & Politics in Progressive-Era Portland & Eugene: The 1912 Same-Sex Vice Scandal.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 100:2 (Summer 1999): 158–81.

———. “The Trouble with Cross-Dressers: Researching and Writing the History of Sexual and Gender Transgressiveness in the Nineteenth-Century American West.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 112:3 (Fall 2011): 322–39.

Burmeister, Heather. “Women’s Lands in Southern Oregon: Jean Mountaingrove and Bethroot Gwynn Tell Their Stories.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 115:1 (Spring 2014): 60–89.

Dirks, Jacqueline. “The Straight State of Oregon: Notes Toward Queering the History of the Past Century.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 113:3 (Fall 2012): 382–91.

Schultz, William. “The Rise and Fall of ‘No Special Rights’.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 122, no. 1 (2021): 6–37.

Blazak, Randy. Oregon Citizens Alliance.” (OE)

Boag, Peter. “Gay and lesbian rights movement.” (OE)

Burmeister, Heather. “Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest LGBTQ History.” (OE)

Canty-Jones, Eliza. “HB 2930, Anti-Discrimination Bill.” (OHP)

Canty-Jones, Eliza. “Grave Charges Lead to Arrests.” (OHP)

Grubbs, Terrill. “Portland Gay Men’s Chorus.” (OE)

Hardt, Ulrich H. “Friendly House, Inc.” (OE)

Helquist, Michael. “Marie Equi (1872-1952).” (OE)

Young, Morgen. “Alan Hart (1890–1962).” (OE)

Please note that not all materials are held onsite at OHS’s research library in downtown Portland. Periodicals, some manuscript and photograph collections, and some books and microfilm may require at least a week’s notice to retrieve from OHS’s offsite storage facility. To ensure the materials will be available, email before your visit with a list of items you wish to see or for assistance with your research.