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Primary Sources for LGBT Research

This guide identifies manuscript collections and rare book collections that may be useful for scholars and researchers of LGBT studies and the history of sexuality in the U.S.

Network Q (MSS 1010)

Network Q Records, 1992-1996; 37 linear ft. (37 boxes)

Network Q was the first weekly program about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals to be shown on public television. During the first two years of Network Q, the program was a subscription series of video tapes, and by 1994 they were being broadcast on 10 PBS stations across the country. By the end of their broadcast in 1996, they were being seen in all 50 states and in 11 foreign countries.

The program’s topics ranged from interviews with important national figures such as Allen Ginsberg and Martin Duberman, to more underground community based programming such as the Mr. International Leather Contest. Some of the more important programs for the gay and lesbian movement were the episodes devoted to the 1993 March on Washington, and the world’s largest display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each program focused on a different city, and included profiles of openly gay activists and artist, book, film and theater reviews and other topics of interest to the gay and lesbian community.

The research aspect of Network Q goes beyond queer studies and the gay rights movement, by allowing students and researchers of film studies programs an in depth look at the entire process of television and film creation. For each episode, the collection consists of initial planning documents, correspondence with city officials and episode guests, travel itineraries, episode planners, location and production stills, unedited original footage, the edited film and the final product.