Libraries Celebrate LGBT History Month 2020

Photo of Pridefest event

The UWM Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections hold one of the largest collections of historical and contemporary LGBT materials in Wisconsin and the Midwest, including a rich record of Milwaukee’s LGBT communities.

Topics covered in the Libraries’ LGBT Collection include the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, AIDS activism and healthcare, and marriage equality. In addition to physical materials, such as letters, photos, posters, organizational records and more, the collection offers oral histories and news footage. Many collections have been digitized and are available online.

Celebrate LGBT History Month by exploring some of these inspiring collections:

ACT UP Milwaukee Records  This collection includes meeting agendas and minutes, newsletters, press releases, flyers, grant applications, financial reports, news program videos, and subject files relating to the history and activism of the Milwaukee chapter of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).


AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin Records  This collection documents the development of ARCW from a small provider of limited services to the largest provider of HIV-health care services and the most comprehensive AIDS service organizations in the United States.

Eldon Murray Papers  Eldon Murray’s correspondence, photographs, writings, and files document his pioneering role in the national gay rights movement.

Gay Peoples Union Records  GPU was the first gay rights organization in Milwaukee and was the most important gay and lesbian rights organization in the city in the 1970s. The collection includes audio recordings of Gay Perspective, a radio program produced by GPU and broadcast on local radio stations from 1971-72.

Milwaukee Gay/Lesbian Cable Network Records  MGLCN was a volunteer group that produced regular and special programming on gay and lesbian issues for Milwaukee’s public access cable channel. The collection includes links to select video produced by MGLCN from 1987 to 1994.

Milwaukee Gay/Lesbian Oral History Project A collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Milwaukee LGBT History Project with members of Milwaukee’s LGBT community, 2003-2007.

Milwaukee Transgender Oral History Project  Interviews with eight individuals concerning Milwaukee’s transgender community and its history. Topics covered include transgender people and the feminist movement, the intersection of transgender identity and sexual orientation, and transgender healthcare.

Miriam Ben-Shalom Papers  Miriam Ben-Shalom was the first gay or lesbian member of the United States military service to be reinstated after being discharged for her sexual orientation.

“Some Call Them Gay” Newsfilm A five-part series examining the gay and lesbian community in Milwaukee broadcast by WTMJ-TV September 24-28, 1973.

Wisconsin HIV/AIDS History Project  The Oral History Interviews of the Wisconsin HIV/AIDS History Project is comprised of video interviews with physicians, nurses, social service workers, ARCW senior staff and long-time survivors who describe the history of HIV/AIDS in Wisconsin.