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Links for virtual tour:       an intro to the archives  | by floor  |  the collections   

The Archives by Floor

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Boots worn by one of the marshalls of the NYC Dyke March
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First Floor
As you go through the double doors at the top of the outside stairway, you enter a small hallway with a community bulletin board and other materials of interest, including copies of the Archives’ newsletters, always available for free. Then through the next door you enter the main indoor hallway. On its walls you’ll find an exhibit that continues up the inner staircase walls and, depending on its size, into the front parlor and dining room as well. On the bench beneath the large mahogany framed mirror in the front hallway is the visitor’s book, where you can read what other visitors have said about their experience at the Archives. We hope you’ll add your own entry before you leave. You can also add your name to our mailing list. At the back of this hallway is the wheelchair accessible bathroom.

The first floor has two large rooms you enter from the hallway. As with the rest of the rooms in the Archives, “lesbiana” adorn the shelves and any spare inch of space not taken up by the collections. There are photographs, postcards, buttons, pasties worn by a lesbian stripper and shoes worn by a lesbian who marshaled the NYC Dyke March for several years, among other odds and ends.

The large front parlor, with its floor to ceiling bookshelves covering three of the four walls, houses most of our books including the Red Dot Collection and the reference collection. There are more bookshelves on the fourth wall, above our subject files which are, housed in four, five drawer horizontal file cabinets.

Through the archway into the original “dining room”, you’ll find more books including our pulp collection, photographs and slides, the graphic flat files, some of our CDs and DVDs as well as our media equipment- a TV, a CD/ DVD player, and a VCR. There’s also our workstation and our main computer, containing the database catalogs for several parts of the collection.

The small hallway at the back of the dining room has built in shelves holding our international book collection. It leads to another bathroom and our kitchen, where you are welcome to fix yourself some coffee, tea or lunch. You can also browse through our collection of videos or use the photocopier, both of which are located here. In nice weather you might go out the back door to sit in the small garden.

Basement Level
The staircase to the garden also leads downstairs to the basement processing and storage area. On this level there is a small room for special collections and a larger space with shelving which holds our music collection and spoken word cassettes. The basement level is also the place we bring new donations before processing them and we have storage space there as well.

2nd floor bathroom with buttons
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Second Floor
Back to the front hallway and up the stairs to the second floor. The small back room and several large closets on this floor house the main part of our special collections.The large back room (also known as the Yellow Wallpaper room) contains the organization, conference, biographical, and geographical files as well as unpublished papers, humor, cartoon, and comic books and some zines. It also houses books from the Marge MacDonald Collection.

Across from the original marble sinks and mirrors, in the closets lining the interior passageway leading to the two front rooms, you’ll find artwork, more special collections, our T-shirt collection, and assorted lesbiana, including buttons, banners, board games, calendars, and various articles of clothing.

The two front rooms hold our periodical collection, which includes a large number of U.S. journals, newsletters and newspapers, a sampling of international periodicals and the “archives” of the Archives. You’ll also find unpublished poetry and short stories here as well as boxes of overflow subject files stored in the closet.

And, out into the hallway again you will pass another bathroom in which we keep a screen covered with buttons. As you might have noticed, we use every inch of space we have!

Continue Virtual Tour:       an intro to the archives  | by floor  |  the collections