Events, Featured, Special Collections

Pride in NYC

By Hannah Herrlich, Emerging Technologies Librarian

Pride Month in New York City

New York is my campus, Fordham is my school… and June is Pride Month. That’s right, it’s time to celebrate Pride in New York City! Pride Month is celebrated annually in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, a series of protests beginning during the early hours of June 28, 1969, in which patrons of The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the West Village of Manhattan, resisted a police raid. While other cities saw earlier protests for LGBTQ+ rights, Stonewall became the symbolic event igniting demonstrations and protests that sparked the modern LGBTQ+ rights movements all around the globe.

During the early hours of June 28, 1969, police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, where they started to make arrests. The crowd erupted after the police roughed up a woman dressed in masculine attire who had complained that her handcuffs were too tight. © NY Daily News Archives / Getty Images.

Taking advantage of the nights that followed the riots, gay activists continued to gather near the Stonewall Inn to spread information and build the community that would fuel the growth of the gay rights movement. They are pictured here, marching in Times Square, 1969. © Diana Davies / NYPL.

A Brief History Lesson

Before we explore all of the resources available to you to celebrate Pride this year, let’s take a look at how and why this important month-long commemoration came to be.

Pride Month was first formally recognized on June 11, 1999, when President Clinton issued Proclamation 7203, recognizing June as “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” On June 1, 2009, President Obama expanded the commemorative month to include bisexual and transgender Americans when he declared June “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.” Then, on June 24, 2016, President Obama designated Stonewall National Monument, America’s first national park site dedicated to LGBTQ+ history.

President Obama views the Gay Pride Flag with Gilbert Baker, the artist who designed the flag, prior to a reception in recognition of LGBT Pride Month, in the Blue Room of the White House, June 9, 2016. National Archives Catalog.

Today, LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebrations commonly include parades, marches, parties, concerts, and events across the nation. Many rainbow pride flags are displayed prominently throughout the month. Gilbert Baker, an Army veteran, artist, and gay rights activist, created the rainbow flag in 1978 as a symbol of the diversity of the community.

I love going to cities around the world and seeing the rainbow flag, knowing that it’s a safe place where I can be myself. –Gilbert Baker

New York City Takes on Pride Month

Attendees watch the 2019 New York City LGBT Pride March during Pride Week on the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City on June 30, 2019. © UPI

Building upon the motto, “New York is my campus, Fordham is my school,” New York City is home to the aforementioned historic Stonewall Inn and a vibrant LGBTQ+ population. As the city comes alive with rainbow flags, parades, and parties, it’s also an excellent time to explore the rich libraries and archives that preserve and promote the history and culture of the LGBTQ+ community. Below are some notable libraries and archives around New York for you to explore this June- and beyond. Whether you’re a past, current, or future Ram, these places are a great way to engage with the community and show your support as an ally.

New York Public Library, LGBTQIA+ collections in the Manuscripts and Archives division

The NYPL’s Manuscripts and Archives division holds over 29,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives in over 5,500 collections. Its extraordinarily rich Gay and Lesbian Collections and HIV/AIDS Collections contain records on the Mattachine Society, Inc. of New York, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP New York, among many others. It also includes literary journals, such as Christopher Street, as well as a vast array of LGBT newspapers from across the globe; and the personal collections of gay activists, writers, historians, and many ordinary New Yorkers who died from AIDS.

Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Room 328; 5th Ave at 42nd St, New York, NY

Visit: Open to the public Tuesday-Friday, 11am-5pm and Saturdays, 1pm-5pm. While walk-ins are welcome, reserving an appointment is strongly recommended. Visit their access page, or email for more information.

Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “ACT UP Reports” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1989-06-04.

Lesbian Herstory Archives

The Lesbian Herstory Archives is the largest and oldest lesbian archive in the world. Founded in the 1970s, it houses photographs, manuscripts, books, periodicals, and other artifacts by and about lesbians and their communities. The origin of the archive was born from the realization that the post-Stonewall activist fronts were led predominantly by men. What initially started as a space to house all of the flyers from the activism marches in the 1970s eventually grew into a blossoming collection of material, and since 1992 the archive has found its permanent home in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Today, the building is owned by the organization, and is operated by a full staff of volunteers. Additionally, the Lesbian Herstory Archives refuse government funding, and exist solely upon donations from the community. They also never have sought out a particular collection for their archive- instead they only receive what is donated to them and they don’t say no. That means there is plenty to explore.

Periodicals in the Lesbian Herstory Archive

This part of the collection is organized by first name only; shelving so by last name encourages patriarchal norms.

Location: 484 14th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11215

Visit: Book your visiting or volunteer hours here, or visit their calendar for more information on access to the archives.

LGBT Community Center National History Archive

The LGBT Community Center National History Archive (aka “The Center”), is a community-based archive that collects, preserves and makes available to the public the documentation of LGBTQ lives and organizations centered in and around New York. Founded in 1990, the archive contains material from 1920 through the present day, including the Heritage of Pride Records, the LGBTQuarantine Archive Project Collection, and many others. Also included are the How to Survive a Plague Tapes, which consists of 67 VHS tapes and DVDs of AIDS-related demonstrations, meetings, TV shows, and home videos. Not available to stop by The Center in person? Not to worry, many of their selected collections have been digitized through Google Arts & Culture.

Location: 208 W 13 St, New York, NY

Visit: By appointment only. Appointments are currently scheduled Thursdays 12-5:45 p.m. To make an appointment, or for more information about archive resources and donating materials, email

Fordham University Libraries

How could we exclude our very own Fordham Libraries? Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies (LGBTQ) research guide provides an overview of resources locally and within Fordham University Libraries covering LGBTQ studies. Included in the guide are plenty of book, film, and journal recommendations, as well as lists of LGBTQ advocacy organizations both within the university, and New York City. While you’re perusing this research guide, don’t forget to explore the Mind Map of Queer Theory from Credo Reference to explore history, background, key concepts, and key theorists. And of course, it wouldn’t be Pride at the Fordham Libraries if we didn’t include a display with an array of LGBTQ books from our collection- available to view at Quinn Library now.

Pride book display at Quinn Library, Lincoln Center campus.

As we celebrate Pride Month, it is also important to remember the history of the LGBTQ+ movement, honor those who have fought for their rights, and continue to work towards a more inclusive and equal future. Join the Fordham University Libraries in celebrating Pride 2024 and let’s make this a month to remember because, after all, #LoveWins– every time.

People celebrating in New York City on June 26, 2015, after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.
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