A view into our living room, subject files on the left
(click to enlarge)
We would love for every lesbian in the world to be able to visit the Archives.
Undoubtedly it is the best way for you to see and use the material we
have. You can visit the Archives anytime we’re open to browse, read
a book, watch a video or to do research. You do not need any special appointment;
you do not have to call in advance. However, our open hours differ each
month. To find out when we are open you can call the Archives or you can
check out our calendar.
If you have a particular project in mind and are coming to the
Archives needing specific types of material, you should call ahead
so that we can discuss what materials are available. And, if you
are coming from out of town or if you will need a large block of
time for your work, please contact us at least two weeks ahead and
preferably as far in advance as possible. Although we may not be
staffed every day, we will try our best to make special arrangements
for access to the collection.
Every June, on the day of the New York City Dyke March (the day before
the Pride March), we have an Open House at the Archives and give tours
all day. However, you can also arrange for a group tour anytime during
the year. Simply call up as far in advance as possible and we will try
to find a time suitable to us and to your group.
From a Distance
Since we strive to serve all Lesbians, and not just the Dykes of New York, we try to find ways for you to use The Archives from a distance. We may be located in New York City but we do actually provide services to lesbians the world over.
Each year we respond to hundreds of research requests sent to us either by fax or letter. Obviously we cannot do your research. However, we can point you in the direction of material on your topic (another library or archive) and/ or give you a few references in answer to your question.
Dyke March 2007
(click to enlarge)
In order to use the Archives from a distance it is best if you have
a specific request, such as a certain article in a specific journal, along
with the author, date and title, rather than a broad request such as "Do
you have any material on Lesbian mothers?" in which case the answer
would be "yes, a tremendous amount." We can point you towards
published periodical listings as well.
The strength of The Archives' collection is that we have many
obscure lesbian/feminist periodicals and books that no other
library or Archives bothered to keep or even knew existed.
However, this material cannot be taken out of the Archives.
If you are looking for a specific article or two (which are
of reasonable length), we can photocopy them and send them
to you. If, however, it is a book you are looking for, the
best we can do is let you know if we have it or not, or possibly
copy a few pages for you. We an also let you know how much
material we have about a specific organization or on a specific
topic, or if we have a specific video, etc., so you can decide
whether it is worth a visit.
There are several other ways you can use the Archives from a distance. We can provide a speaker or do a slide show presentation about the Archives and Lesbian herstory for any group. You do not have to be affiliated with an institution or be an organized group. You and your friends might just want to find out about the Archives and our work. We would be pleased to try to make suitable arrangements. The Archives has made such presentations all over the United States as well as in other countries. However, if you are outside of New York City we ask that you provide transportation and, if necessary, lodging and other expenses. And, if you are making this request for an institution (i.e. a college or university) which would ordinarily provide an honorarium for speakers, we ask to be given an honorarium as well. Finally, we have a series of traveling exhibits, which have been shown around the world.
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