The Lesbian Herstory Archives Celebrates 40 Years!

From October through December 2014, the celebration of a herstoric collective.

The Lesbian Herstory Archives, located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn New York, is home to the world’s largest collection of materials by and about lesbians. This treasure trove of thousands of printed materials including books, journals, love letters, ‘zines, photos, personal items (even sex toys!), and a variety of visual and audio formats, is open to the public to browse and learn more about the herstory of our communities.

For the next three months, community figures, activists, academics, students, artists, and filmmakers will unite to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the archives, which began as a small collection in the apartment of two of its founders, Joan Nestle and Deb Edel, in 1974.

It has grown over four decades through the contributions of many lesbian volunteers who want the stories and experiences of their community to be remembered, and it now inhabits its own brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

To celebrate 40 years of the archives, a series of curated events has been developed to demonstrate the past, present and future of the archives—and the dedication and diversity of the community that created them. The Sapphic season of celebration began with a Lesbian Studies course on October 7 and concludes with a climactic cabaret on December 12.

In between will be experimental video installation, a Black Lesbian DIY zinestest fest, and “Memories from 13A,” on October 19 hosted by Joan Nestle, the archives founder who reflects on the years when the collection was just outside her bedroom door. Other highlights include a panel discussion on October 22 about the commitment and fundraising efforts behind the archives, an exhibition of Morgan Gwenwald’s photographs documenting decades of the archives, and focuses on Charlotte Cushman, Angela Calomiris, and others.

Queer Memoir on November 23 explores the theme of Chosen Family while the LHA Services Auction on December 5 is where to pick up a good or service you may need.

The grand finale will be held at the LGBT Community Services Center in Manhattan and feature fabulous lesbian performers, drumming, burlesque, music, comedy, political commentary and more!

All events are open to the public, all are welcome. Ticket prices vary.


Lesbian Herstory Archives, 484 14th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011