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2SLGBTQIA+ History and Archives


From the Queer Arts Festival fonds 2020 program "Wicked"

Located in RBSC-ARC-1833-02-12



This page highlights archival fonds, rare and historic materials such as books, ephemera, letters, diaries and artworks, as well as collections related to the lives and experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and organizations that are housed in one of UBC's libraries, archival spaces and research centres. References to related projects, exhibitions and resources available at UBC can also be found here. 

2SLGBTQIA+ materials and collections are one of the growing collection areas at RBSC. If you have materials you would like us to consider or feedback on our description, please get in touch with us via this form or by emailing Krisztina Laszlo, RBSC Archivist, at

RBSC Archival Collections

A. Alexis Alvey fonds

A. Alexis Alvey was born in Seattle, Washington. She attended McMaster University in Hamilton (1932-33). Following University, she was employed as a special technician in charge of photography at the University of Toronto's School of Medicine. Alvey also helped organize the business women's company of the Toronto Red Cross Transport Corps and commanded it for two years, and served as lecturer to the entire Transport Corps for Military Law, Map Reading, and Military and Naval insignia. In 1942, the Womens Royal Canadian Naval Service (W.R.C.N.S., Wrens) selected Alvey for its first class for training in Ottawa. Having passed a selection board to become one of the first commissioned officers, Dorothy Isherwood, W.R.C.N.S., appointed Alvey acting Chief Petty Officer Master-at-Arms. Eventually, Alvey returned to Seattle to work for the University of Washington Libraries as an acquisitions technician, but retired in 1969. Alvey died on June 5, 1996. Throughout her life, Alvey took special care to collect and preserve memorabilia related to the activities of the W.R.C.N.S. She regularly accepted donations from former W.R.C.N.S. to aid her documentary activities.

Archives Collective collection

The collection is primarily composed of printed material and publications generated by various gay organizations in Vancouver and Victoria. The fonds contains 53 cm of textual records.

Association of University and College Employees (AUCE) fonds

In 1973, library and clerical workers on university and college campuses across British Columbia began organizing as a union in order to represent their collective interests. Workers at University of British Columbia (Local 1), Simon Fraser University (Local 2), Notre Dame University of Nelson (Local 3), Capilano College (Local 4), College of New Caledonia (Local 5), and the Teaching Support Staff at S.F.U. (Local 6) organized over the next two years to collectively form the provincial wide and independent union, the Association of University and College Employees (AUCE). References to gay and lesbian materials can be found by searching the in PDFs. 

Rosemary Baxter fonds

Rosemary Baxter spent her formative years in Priddis, Alberta, during which time she was a lay minister and pastoral care worker for the Catholic Archdiocese of Calgary. In 1989, her family moved to Salt Spring Island, B.C. From roughly 1985 onward, she was active in promoting gay and lesbian rights, particularly in advocating for amendments to provincial and federal legislation to protect sexual orientation rights. She was president of Dignity Canada for one year and was also active in lobbying the Catholic Church in Canada to recognize gay and lesbian rights. The fonds consists of records Baxter created and received in the course of activities promoting sexual orientation rights in Canada between 1980-1990, such as correspondence, press clippings, and reports.

Lilian Bland fonds

Lilian Bland is widely recognized as the first woman to design, construct, and fly her own aircraft. She was also an avid photographer, journalist, marks-woman, equestrian, motorist, and an early settler of Northern Vancouver Island. The fonds consists of 1,398 glass plate negatives, glass lantern slides, celluloid prints and celluloid negatives, the majority of which were taken by Lilian Bland. The photographs reflect the varied and unique life of Lilian Bland and her family. The fonds includes several photographs of the Mayfly, the bi-plane Lilian famously designed, constructed, and flew. Other photographic subjects include horse-riding and horse-racing, Lilian's fathers' artwork, her husbands' travels in China, family photographs, birds and bird-watching, her travels in Europe, California, and British Columbia, and photographs documenting her years spent as a settler living on the Quatsino Sound in Vancouver Island and in California with her family. Other record types in the fonds include Lilian Bland’s unpublished memoir, and the original enclosures for the photographs including boxes, envelopes, and box lists.

Rosemary Brown fonds

Rosemary Brown was born in Jamaica in 1930 and moved to Canada in 1950 to attend McGill University, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies. In 1955, she relocated to B.C., where she earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia. Drawn to feminism and the peace movement, Brown established the Vancouver Status of Women. In 1972, she became a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the riding of Vancouver-Burrard and thus became the first Black woman elected to B.C. legislature, where she served as an MLA for 14 years until 1986, when she retired from politics. As an MLA for B.C., Rosemary fought for such issues as: ending discrimination; eliminating sexism in textbooks; the equality of women; affirmative action; and laws that protect rape victims. After her retirement from politics, Rosemary served as Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission from 1993-96. The fonds consists of correspondence, speeches, research notes, and articles on various issues, such as discrimination, inequality of women, affirmative action, and sexual assault. 

Bullock Family fonds

Ruth Bullock met her husband Reginald in 1938 and together they worked towards their shared interests in labour unions and socialism. The Bullocks were expelled from the NDP in the 1960s and Ruth remained active in the socialist movement and as an advocate for human rights. In 1993, a thesis was written about her by Heather McLeod entitled “‘Not Another God-Damned Housewife’: Ruth Bullock, The ‘Woman Question’ and Canadian Trotskyism” (Simon Fraser University). The fonds consists of correspondence as well as subject files, posters, photographs, and pamphlets relating to the activities of the Revolutionary Workers League and its predecessors: the League for Social Action, Socialist Educational League, and the Revolutionary Workers Party. References to gay materials, such as "Gay Liberation", "Gay People of UBC", and the "4th Annual Gay Conference" be found on the PDF finding aid

Gay Alliance Toward Equality fonds

The Gay Alliance Toward Equality (G.A.T.E.) was an organization of homosexual men and women that sought to ensure equal rights for gay people. It operated for ten years, organizing protests, publishing a newsletter, Gay Tide, arranging benefit dances and supporting individuals in civil rights disputes. The organization disbanded in 1980. The fonds consists of photocopies of minute books of the Gay Alliance Toward Equality (1971-1980), photocopies of selected items in the files of the organization and a list of files created by G.A.T.E. The fonds consists of two series: Administrative Files and Subject Files. The Administrative Files series consists of meeting minutes, correspondence, financial statements, and the constitution and policies and principles guidelines for the organization. The Subject Files series contains files of a variety of subjects with which the Gay Alliance Toward Equality dealt.

Intermedia Society fonds

Intermedia was established in 1967 as a non-profit society. Intermedia fulfilled a need in the Vancouver artistic community for a central meeting place for creative minds from numerous fields. With the assistance of grants from Canada Council and the Federal Government, Intermedia sponsored exhibitions, workshops, educational seminars and impromptu social and artistic gatherings. The file titled "Layout, paste ups for The Phonenix - Newsletter of Gay Liberation Front" is mentioned on the PDF finding aid

Lazara Press fonds

Lazara Press is a small, progressive publishing house located in Vancouver, B.C. It was founded by its current owner, Penny Goldsmith, in 1982. Lazara publishes poetry, literature, broadsides, and chapbooks as well as a "Discussions" series which serves as a forum for provocative and challenging essays and speeches on current issues. The fonds consists of the business records created and/or collected by Lazara Press and its founder Penny Goldsmith, predominately from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. The file referencing lesbians is titled " Fireweed - lesbian issue". 

Positive Women’s Network fonds

The Positive Women's Network (PWN) was a trans-inclusive organization formed in 1991 in Vancouver, BC as a support group run by and for women living with HIV/AIDS and/or Hepatitis C. PWN offered free programs and resources to women living with HIV and Hepatitis C as well as women who were vulnerable to those diseases, health care workers, and service providers throughout the province. These programs supported communities by providing a full spectrum of non-judgmental care to women and their families. The PWN provided support and education in the form of advocacy, retreats, a drop-in centre, food bank, hospital visits, a hot lunch program, information and referrals, one-on-one support sessions, support groups, and telephone counselling. The organization eventually closed in April 2017 due to lack of funding and the changing landscape of HIV/AIDS services in BC. The fonds consists of records related to PWN’s various programs and projects, support and educational resources, and operations and administrative activities.

From the Queer Arts Festival fonds 2021 program "DISPERSED: it’s not easy being green"

Located in RBSC-ARC-1833-02-14

Queer Arts Festival fonds

The Queer Arts Festival (QAF) was founded by Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong and Black artist Jeffery Gibson among other queer visual artists in 1998. Originally called Pride in Art, QAF was incorporated in 2006 as a nonprofit and the first multidisciplinary QAF occurred in 2008. In 2018, the SUM gallery was founded by Artistic Director SD Holman to serve as a permanent space to hold the QAF and host other events and artistic residencies. The SUM gallery, “is one of less than a handful of permanent queer-mandated art galleries in the world. SUM produces, presents and exhibits with a curatorial vision favouring cutting-edge, thought-provoking multidisciplinary work that pushes boundaries and initiates dialogue” ( The QAF and SUM gallery’s goals are to bring diverse queer communities together to support risk-taking art and artists, collaborate and experiment with other creators, and to celebrate the vivid history and heritage of queer art and artists. The QAF has been hosted annually since 2006 at the Roundhouse at the SUM gallery in Vancouver, and has presented over 2,000 artists in more than 450 events to over 100,000 patrons of the arts. This fonds consists of records relating to the Queer Arts Festival hosted by SUM Gallery and are separated by festival year from 2006-2021.


Service, Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC) fonds

This fonds contains records of the Service, Office and Retail Workers Union of Canada (SORWUC) from their active life between 1972 and 1986. The records pertain to the functioning of the National Headquarters, Local sections and the union as a whole within its communities. The content of the records is primarily focused in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, but the union's influence reaches a national level including activity in the prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. While the central concern of SORWUC was directly related to unionization, the records also concern feminist activity and the pursuance of equal rights for women in society. The material is in the form of correspondence, financial records and statements, various publications, and photographs. References to gay and lesbian interest groups can be found by searching the PDF finding aid.

Lisa Snider Collection

Lisa Snider was born in Calgary. She holds Bachelors in History and Classical History from the University of Calgary, and Masters in Classical Archaeology (1991), Library and Information Science (2013) and Archival Studies (2013) from UBC. Snider has been a collector of historical lesbian ephemera since 2006, acquiring materails from then up until 2014. This collection consists of ephemera that celebrates gender performance and lesbian identities. Materials span a wide time period, capturing both early and late 20th century LGBT culture. In particular, there is a significant part of the collection dedicated to ephemera and published materials that feature early 20th century gender impersonators. Developed out of the English music hall scene of the 19th century, male impersonators in the early 20th century were primarily vaudeville acts that toured the United States. Their audiences were predominantly male with a focus on comedic delivery, something that represented a shift in the male impersonator tradition from the earlier 19th century. The collection also includes several early 20th century anti-suffrage postcards that depict women in relationships with each other (as opposed to men) and include phrases that suggest they have supplanted a man’s role.

Solidarity Coalition fonds

The fonds consists of biographical information, minutes, and records of the meetings of the Coalition and its steering committee, and copies of the reports, briefs, submissions and letters received by the People's Commission of Solidarity in its travels around British Columbia. The fonds also includes printed material on various subjects (eg., economics, education, housing, health care, labour, etc.), photographs, copies of petitions and taped hearings of the Commission. References to gay and lesbian materials can be found in the PDF finding aid

Vancouver Cultural Events collection—Part 2, Music

A compilation of programs, season brochures, flyers, newsletters, tickets, annotations, and newspaper clippings, all pertaining to performances held primarily in Vancouver, British Columbia, by various companies and organizations one of which is the Rainy City Gay Men's Chorus. 

Vancouver Cultural Events collection—Part 6, Festivals

A compilation of event pamphlets, festival guides, and advertisements, all pertaining to events held primarily in Vancouver, British Columbia, by various organizations including the Queer Arts Festival. 

Vancouver Status of Women fonds

Vancouver Status of Women (VSW) was formed in 1971 in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women set up by Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1967. VSW’s goals were to ensure that the recommendations of the Royal Commission were implemented, foster public knowledge of women’s issues, and facilitate communication amongst individuals and groups concerned with the status of women. The fonds consists of records related to VSW’s administrative activities, projects, and lobbying endeavours, as well as research and reference resources. Although the nature of VSW’s activities has changed over time, the organization has consistently maintained a commitment to addressing social issues related to women, including gender discrimination, pay equity, familial violence, sexual orientation and gender identity.

VSW has addressed these issues through a variety of avenues, including publications, press releases, lobbying of governments, a television program, workshops, and services for individuals in Vancouver. At the moment, this fonds includes 80 photographs, 9 audio cassettes, 6 audio disks, 3 computer disks, and 3 negative rolls. More files are being processed and added to this collection. 

Vancouver Women in Focus Society fonds

The Vancouver Women in Focus Society, commonly known as Women in Focus, was established as a non-profit society in 1974 when two members of the University of British Columbia’s Women's Office Collective taught a workshop in video skills and produced a special series of half hour programmes entitled “Women in Focus.” The original function of the group was to “support the production of feminist video and film, and to encourage women artists in the making of images which reflected their lives and experiences.” The group officially disbanded in 1993. The materials in the fonds reflect their activities in video production and distribution, gallery exhibitions, activism and lobbying, community engagement, and research.

Women in Focus additionally had “a mandate to emphasize women’s and artists’ issues among public policy makers on regional, national, and international levels.” As such, Women in Focus participated in and/or was a member in organizations such as: The National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Association of National Non-Profit Artist-Run Centres, the Independent Film and Video Alliance, the Canadian Museums Association, Amnesty International, the B.C. Museums Association, the British Columbia Federation of Women, Vancouver Artist’ League, Vancouver Cultural Alliance, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the B.C. Film Industry Association and the Coalition for the Right to View. The society also organized several film festivals in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, and attended festivals elsewhere, becoming part of an international network of feminist groups. Women in Focus was further involved in multiple projects and groups dealing with violence against women, pornography, child abuse, women’s labour laws, lesbian rights, racism, education, women in politics, and women in prison. They distributed a variety of educational materials on these subjects and maintained a significant print library of books, newsletters, pamphlets, magazines and newspapers. Gay and lesbian references can be found by searching the finding aid

David Watmough fonds 

David Watmough is a British expat who has been living in Vancouver since 1962. He writes in a variety of mediums: poems, short stories, novels, plays, monodramas, and sonnets. Watmough has been active in the British Columbia literary scene since his arrival, and is also credited with opening the doors for gay and lesbian writers in B.C., as the first openly gay male writer in the province. The fonds consists of records generated and assembled by David Watmough related to his life and career as a novelist, short story writer, playwright, monodramatist and performer, poet, critic, broadcaster, journalist, and teacher. The fonds includes series of records arranged in twenty divisions, with the greatest portion related to writing and literary production: novels, short stories, plays and dramas, monodramas, poetry and songs, nonfiction books, diaries and journals, essays, collections and anthologies, recordings, reading scripts and performance files, radio and television broadcast scripts and project files, film scripts, lectures, addresses, and orations, journal articles, interviews, and reviews of books, exhibitions and theatre performances, as well as correspondence, finance and business files, subject files including published material about Watmough and copies of published material by him, and ephemera and miscellanea. The fonds contains textual records, both manuscript and typewritten, as well as computer generated, some printed, published material, an occasional sketch or drawing, several sound recordings of Watmough performing, a small number of electronic records, and a number of photoprints and slides kept with the original files where possible. Some monodramas have been retained in the original bindings provided for performance by the creator.   

Western Front Society fonds

The Western Front was founded in 1973 by eight artists who wanted to create a space for the exploration and creation of new art forms. It quickly became a centre for poets, dancers, musicians and visual artists interested in exploration and interdisciplinary practices. One of Canada's oldest Artist Run Centres, the organization is situated in a turn of the century wooden building that houses a gallery, concert hall, dance hall, and production studios for electronic and print media. The file on a lesbian art exhibition, titled "Drawing the line- Lesbian Sexual Politics on the Wall" can be found on the PDF finding aid.

Bob Williams fonds

Bob Williams represented Vancouver East as a New Democratic Party (NDP) member in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia from 1966 to 1976 and from 1984 to 1991. Williams has also served as an alderman for Vancouver from 1964 to 1966, been a member of the Vancouver City Planning Commission from 2004 to 2006, and fulfilled several other roles related to municipal and city planning. Williams is currently living in Vancouver, and continues to participate in community projects and studies.

Records in the fonds relate to Williams’s various roles: teacher, M.L.A., community planning consultant, Minister, chair of ICBC, and Secretary of Crown Corporations. As such, the records relate both to Williams’ personal career as well as British Columbia's governmental systems of resource management, transportation, forestry, energy, housing, and recreation.

University Archives

The mission of the University of British Columbia Archives is to serve as the institution’s corporate memory by identifying, preserving, and making available for use the University’s permanently valuable records. The Archives acquires the private papers of selected faculty members, administrators and alumni, as well as the records of independent student, alumni and employee organizations. The following are highlights of collection

Jane Rule fonds

British Columbia author Jane Rule was born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1931. She received her B.A. from Mills College, Oakland in 1952 and attended University College in London, 1952/53 as an "occasional student". In 1954 Rule taught at Concord Academy, a private school in Massachusetts. There she met Helen Sonthoff, a fellow faculty member who became her life partner. Rule first came to Vancouver in 1956, where, after writing for two years, she became the first assistant director of the University of British Columbia's newly-established International House in its first year of operation (1958/59). Thereafter she taught periodically in the English and Creative Writing Departments at UBC. Jane Rule distinguished herself has one of British Columbia's best fiction writers. She also made significant contributions in nonfiction, particularly homosexuality and women's rights. In 1964, she published "Desert of the Heart", a novel centred on a professor of English literature who meets and falls in love with a casino worker in Reno. It received a chilly reception in most quarters, but she was deluged with desperate letters from closeted lesbians who felt there might be someone who understood them. It was made into a movie by Donna Deitch called "Desert Hearts" in 1985; both the novel and the movie are now considered classics in their genre. In 1976, she moved to Galiano Island and remained there until the end of her life. Rule served on the executive of the Writers' Union of Canada. An open lesbian, she was an outspoken advocate of both free speech and gay rights. Rule was inducted into the Order of British Columbia in 1998, and into the Order of Canada in 2007. She died on 28 November 2007 due to complications from liver cancer.

Helen Sonthoff fonds

Helen Hubbard Wolfe Sonthoff was born in Rochester, New York, on September 11, 1916. She was educated at Smith College (AB, 1937), and Radcliffe College. She taught for some years in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. before coming to the University of British Columbia in 1958 as a Teaching Assistant. Sonthoff, a teacher and scholar of Canadian literature back in the days when Canadian literature was still struggling to establish itself as a field worthy of study, gained a tenured appointment as an Assistant Professor of English at UBC in 1968. Her own writing was on the fiction and poetry of such contemporary figures as Phyllis Webb, Milton Acorn, Eli Mandel, and Leonard Cohen, and from time to time, she promoted their work on the CBC as a reader and critic. Sonthoff served on numerous departmental and faculty committees, and in 1972 she was elected to a three-year term on the University Senate as a representative of the Faculty of Arts. As a member of the fledgling Women's Action Group she contributed to the first Report on the Status of Women at UBC in 1973. Sonthoff was also an early supporter of aboriginal education at the post-secondary level, and worked with colleagues in Arts and Education to give special help to aboriginal students. Upon her retirement from the English Department in 1976, Sonthoff and her long-time partner, writer Jane Rule, moved permanently to Galiano Island. Sonthoff passed away in Victoria, B.C. on January 3, 2000.

Abraham Rogatnick fonds

Abraham Jedidiah Rogatnick was born November 27, 1923 in Boston, Massachusetts. He interrupted his undergraduate studies to serve in the armed forces in WWII, fighting on the Western Front. He later studied in Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship. In 1948, he completed a master's in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Rogatnick arrived in Vancouver in 1955, initially only to visit a friend but instead settled permanently. He and Alvin Balkind opened the first commercial gallery in Vancouver for contemporary art called The New Design Gallery. It was the beginning of Rogatnick's advent of contemporary west coast art for Vancouver, which also included being a founding member of the Arts Club Theatre in 1958 and serving as the interim director of the Vancouver Art Gallery from 1974-1975. In 1959 Rogatnick was appointed to the School of Architecture at UBC, where he helped start a Study Abroad Program for students to have learning opportunities around the world. He expanded his own interests by specializing in Venetian architecture and learning Italian. He retired from UBC as Professor Emeritus in 1985. Rogatnick served on several juries for art awards, and acted as architectural advisor for the National Gallery of Canada and the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art. He contributed to a book regarding B.C. Binning, with whom he collaborated in the sixties and early seventies to arrange the Festivals of Contemporary Art at UBC. Rogatnick received numerous awards and honours including the Barbara Dalrymple Award for Community Service as well as an honorary doctorate from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1999. He did some television and stage acting starting about 1998 at the age of 74. He is also memorialized with the Abraham Rogatnick Library at the Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, named after him for his work on the Board of Directors and his bequest to the institution. Rogatnick died August 28, 2009 at the age of 85.

Joan Coldwell fonds

Joan Coldwell received her PhD from Harvard University and taught English at University of Victoria until moving to Ontario. Coldwell became a professor of English and director of Women’s Studies at McMaster University. She was introduced to Jane Rule and Helen Sonthoff through their mutual friend Gail Pass. She has also worked as book page editor and columnist for the Victoria Times and as a food writer and radio producer. She is the founder and publisher of Hedgerow Press. Established in 2004, Hedgerow Press has published books by B.C. writers and artists including Jane Rule’s last book, "Loving the Difficult", a collection of essays which received the Lambda Award for non-fiction. Fonds consists of materials created and collected by Joan Coldwell though both her personal relationship and her business dealings with Jane Rule. It includes incoming personal correspondence from Jane Rule and Helen Sonthoff to Joan Coldwell and Ann Saddlemyer. Also included is a sous-fond, Hedgerow Press – Loving The Difficult, arising from the Press’s publication of Jane Rule’s final book. It consists of correspondence, contracts, obituaries, publication and promotion materials, including photographs of the book launch on Galiano Island, as well as a cd-rom copy of the work, a bound paper draft, and the 2008 Lambda Literary Award for non-fiction.

Ann Micou fonds

Ann McKinstry Micou was a student in the English Department at Mills College at the same time as Jane Rule, whom she knew as “Jinx”. In the second semester of their senior year (1952) they roomed together. After graduation, Micou went off to Concord Academy in Massachusetts to teach high school English while Rule went to Wallace Stegner's writing program at Stanford. While at Concord Academy, Micou befriended Helen Sonthoff. After two years, in 1954 Micou had an opportunity to leave America to go to France with another of friend from Mills and she recommended to the headmistress that her position be offered to Rule, who accepted; it was under those circumstances that she and Helen met. Micou stayed in touch with Helen and Jane for all the years they were together in Canada and she corresponded regularly with Jane. Shortly before Helen's death, she had an opportunity to travel, with her husband, to visit them on Galiano Island. It was a happy, congenial goodbye to them both. The fonds consists of seven incoming letters from Jane Rule to Ann Micou dating from 2003 to 2007. The last letter is dated October 8, 2007 and was written a little over a month before Jane Rule’s death. The fonds also includes four CD’s featuring Jane Rule reading a selection of her short stories including “House”, “A Chair for George”, “Seaweed & Song”, “You Cannot Judge a Pumpkin by the Smile Upon His Face”, “A Migrant’s Christmas”, “If There is No Gate”, “Home Movie”, “Blessed are the Dead”, and “Dulce”. The recordings were produced in a small number for distribution to family and friends. The fonds also includes a copy of a videotape entitled “Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule” (Eds. Lynne Fernie, Aerlyn Weissman).

UBC Subject File Collection

The collection consists of materials acquired by Special Collections and the University Archives and maintained for purposes of historical research. It includes reports, correspondence, committee minutes, course materials, architectural and other drawings, newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, posters, brochures, and other published materials. The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject or name (e.g. organisations, University departments, events, buildings/places, and individuals).

Peggy Thompson Film Research Collection

Peggy Thompson graduated from Point Grey Secondary School in 1972 before attending the University of British Columbia. Later, she became a professor of screenwriting in the Creative Writing department at UBC. She has worked as a writer, producer, and director for film, television, radio, and stage. As of 2017, Thompson is a Professor Emerita of UBC’s Creative Writing Program, and has served on the Board of Directors of Women in Film and Television Vancouver as well as Out On Screen. She is currently on the From Our Dark Side Screenplay Genre Competition’s Steering Committee, a national competition for genre screenwriters run by Women in Film and Television Vancouver. Collection is a assemblage of movie memorabilia, predominantly Noir and Western 20cm x 25cm film-stills, 28 cm x 36 cm lobby cards, and ephemera amassed by Thompson as a part of her research for her books Hard-Boiled and Tall in the Saddle. Additionally, there are Science Fiction stills and posters, Spanish-language lobby cards, 36cm x 91cm insert posters, and miscellaneous stills from other 20th -century cinema.

Queer Collections Project

The Queer Collections Project began with Rare Books and Special Collections’ acquisition in late 2014 of a first edition of Teleny (1893), considered the first "gay" novel and the foundation of an entire literary lineage. Inspired by this important acquisition, Dr. Kyle Frackman of the Department of Central, Eastern & Northern European Studies and Dr. Gregory Mackie of the Department of English Language and Literatures applied for grant funding from UBC’s Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships to seed the expansion of RBSC’s collections of rare and historical 2SLGBTQIA+ material. Since then, with funding from the Library and other UBC grants and endowments, as well as contributions from generous donors, the Queer Collections Project has focused on acquiring and showcasing primary resources for undergraduate and graduate research into the history of sexuality that addresses wide arrays of experience in an attempt to remediate the queer history knowledge deficit among UBC students. Languages of the materials are Primarily English, German, and French. Some of these materials are highlighted below.

Queer Collection Project Highlights

Exhibition: A Queer Century, 1869-1969

A Queer Century, 1869-1969” was an exhibition on display in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room from June 1 to September 11, 2019. The opening of this exhibition coincided with UBC’s hosting of the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The exhibition was made possible by the Queer Collections Project (QCP), a joint, interdisciplinary initiative organized by faculty in the Faculty of Arts with the support of UBC Library. 

“A Queer Century” highlighted the history of sexuality, progressing from the emergence of homosexuality as a named concept in 1869 to the announced decriminalization of homosexual activity in Canada in 1969. This exhibition featured books, ephemera, and archival materials in English, German, and French from RBSC’s collections, as well as original correspondence held in UBC’s University Archives, and materials loaned by local private collectors. A catalogue of the exhibition can be downloaded here.

Open Collections

UBC Library's Open Collections include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These publicly-accessible collections are constantly growing and reflect the research interests of the UBC community and beyond. Below are some examples of a few periodicals and newspapers related to 2SLGBTQIA+ experiences. 



The Ubyssey

Date Issued: 2019-07-30

The Ubyssey

Date Issued: 1997-02-14

The Ubyssey

Date Issued: 1997-02-14


Date Issued: 2019-03-01


Data Issued: 1999-05-01




UBC Library Related Subject Guides

UBC Related Resources


The Okanagan QueerStory Podcast

UBC Okanagan professor Donna Langille and research partner Taysha Jarrett have created a podcast about the queer history of the Okanagan and the people who have lived through it. Learn more. 

The Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal

The Downtown Eastside Research Access Portal (DTES RAP) provides access to research and research-related materials relevant to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). You can browse by topic or search for items about the DTES, including academic materials such as scholarly articles and research summaries, as well as community materials such as reports, historical documents, and more. The DTES RAP is led by the Making Research Accessible initiative (MRAi), a partnership at the University of British Columbia between the Learning Exchange and the Library. The Research Topics in the DTES RAP include research in the Gender, Sexuality, and Identity topic area. Learn more.

Positive Space Campaign

Launched in 2002, the Positive Space campaign is a campus-wide initiative intended to raise awareness and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans and queer students, staff, faculty, alumni and allies at UBC. The aim of the campaign is to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment, respectful dialogue on campus for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities by identifying spaces where sexual and gender diversity is supported and valued. This campaign is led by the UBC’s Equity & Inclusion Office

UBC Pride Collective

The Pride Collective is an AMS resource group that offers educational and social services dealing with sexual and gender diversity to the UBC community, including but not limited to students, staff, and faculty. Pride provides support and information to those who self identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, asexual, queer, questioning, intersex, other identities, those who do not identify, and allies; assists people who are coming out; supplies a forum for dialogue about sexuality and gender identity; holds social events, and educates the wider UBC community about the variation in human sexuality and gender identity. Members of the group come from diverse backgrounds and everyone is welcome regardless of sexuality or gender. 

Beyond the Binary @ UBC

Beyond the Binary @ UBC (BB@UBC) is an initiative co-Facilitated by two staff members at UBC to provide gender inclusion and awareness to UBC’s staff, Faculty, students and visitors. BB@UBC also provides resources and information in support of transgender, gender diverse, and Two-Spirit folks who live, learn, and work at UBC.

UBCO Pride Resource Centre

The UBCO Pride Resource Centre (PRC) was founded in 2003 and is a space on campus where 2SLGBTQIA+ students can come and talk about issues and challenges they face on and off campus. The PRC is a paraprofessional service which means that it does not provide actual medical (mental or physical) advice but can refer students to professional healthcare services on or off campus. Volunteers for the PRC provide a safe, confidential space for LGBT and Ally students through events and office hours where students can come, have fun, and discuss 2SLGBTQIA+ issues.

Out on the Shelves Library

Out On The Shelves is a non-profit, community library built and cared for by volunteers, librarians, and librarians-in-training who are committed to anti-oppressive social justice work. Although located on UBC’s West Point Grey campus, they are not officially affiliated with UBC or its libraries. Out On The Shelves aims to foster a free, accessible, and safe space for 2SLGBTQIA+ people and their allies to discover and share stories and resources centering on 2SLGBTQIA+ experiences. Out On The Shelves understands that 2SLGBTQIA+ people stand at the intersection of multiple communities and identities, and seek to empower and support them by providing access to materials that reflect their realities.

Promoting Trans Literacies Workshop

Developed and facilitated by the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, the Promoting Trans Literacies Workshop explores how educators can develop safer, more trans-inclusive pedagogical practices in their classrooms. From student stories to syllabus analysis, facilitators will provide a framework for participants to understand, identify, and counter trans-oppressive practices, and to provide tools to better create trans-literate and trans-equitable learning spaces at all levels.


UBC CampOUT! is a leadership and learning summer camp for queer, trans, Two-Spirit, questioning, and allied youth from across BC & the Yukon. Since 2009, supporters have made it possible for them to facilitate transformative, land-based leadership development opportunities for over 800 2SLGBTQIA+ youth prioritizing participants from rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. CampOUT! brings people together to learn about decolonizing, anti-racist and disability justice approaches to education and leadership from each other and from mentors in community.