Primary Sources for Pride: Celebrating Stonewall & Christopher Street Liberation Day
Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, a series of protests beginning in the early hours of June 28, 1969 until July 3rd in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the West Village. While other cities saw earlier protests for LGBTQ rights, Stonewall became the symbolic event giving rise to modern LGBTQ+ movements internationally.
Building upon the “Fordham is my school, New York is my campus” motto, we are celebrating Pride through looking at New York City history. Below, you will find primary resources available at Fordham Libraries and beyond, covering the Stonewall Riots and New York City’s first annual Pride marches, known as Christopher Street Liberation Day.
Researching the Stonewall Riots
The overviews in encyclopedias and dictionaries can be great places to learn about the historical context, timeline, key figures, and place names surrounding historical events. These details are the keywords that will generate the best results when searching library catalogs and databases. For overviews of the Stonewall Riots, try the following:
- Credo Reference provides a wide range of digital encyclopedias and dictionaries with entries on Stonewall and key activists.
- The Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History edited by Howard Chiang offers entries on Stonewall, key participants, activist organizations formed after Stonewall, and its influence on global movements.
- The Stonewall Riots : A Documentary History edited by Marc Stein provides transcriptions of 200 primary documents presenting Stonewall in context. (Since we only have one print copy of this title, be sure to check the catalog for availability.)
- The Stonewall Reader edited by Jason Baumann and the New York Public Library presents oral histories, diaries, and articles from LGBTQ periodicals documenting the years leading up to Stonewall and its aftermath.
- Our LGBTQ research guide offers tips for searching the Independent Voices: An Open Access Collection of an Alternative Press, the New York Times, and other sources to find articles and commentary written in reaction to the riots.
Christopher Street Liberation Day
Image credit: “Men holding Christopher Street Liberation Day banner, 1970” by Diana Davies via New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Ever wondered what the first Pride marches in New York City looked like? Check out the following open access resources highlighting Christopher Street Liberation Day events held in commemoration of Stonewall beginning in 1970:
- The Library of Congress provides access to the short documentary “Gay and Proud” by Lilli Vincenz recorded at the first Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970.
- New York Public Library Digital Collections offers over 400 images from Christopher Street Liberation Day events from activist photographers including Diana Davies and the recently deceased Kay “Tobin” Lahusen.
- Selections from the archive at New York City’s LGBT Community Center featuring Christopher Street Liberation Day events are available through Google Arts & Culture.
- The Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Collection from the University of Connecticut Digital Collections showcases flyers and other print materials from the early 1970s.
Happy Pride, Fordham!
As always, if you have any questions or curiosities about researching LGBTQ+ topics, please reach out to our library liaisons through the LGBTQ Studies research guide. Wishing you a safe and happy Pride!
By Tierney Gleason, Reference and Digital Humanities Librarian