October 17, 2021

“A New LGBTQ+ Resource from the Library of Congress Music Division”

From an “In the Muse” Blog Post/Library of Congress

Although the Library of Congress buildings remain closed to the public during the early months of 2021, its collections can still be a great resource during this time. While working from home, the staff of the Music Division’s Acquisitions & Processing Section has undertaken several surveys of our holdings, one of which focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) creators and artists within the Library of Congress’s performing arts special collections. The artistic community has always had many LGBTQ+ members, and this survey is a resource that highlights the lives and accomplishments of these artists.

Nearly 25% of the Library of Congress’s performing arts special collections, or 119 as of early 2021, include a connection to the LGBTQ+ community. Of these collections, 38 were created by or focus directly on LGBTQ+ individuals, while remaining 81 collections include various materials by or about these artists, including music by and correspondence with members of the LGBTQ+ community. This survey also emphasizes connections between and within our collections: familiar names like Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, for instance, appear throughout many of the collections, showcasing the interconnectedness of the performing arts world.

While well-known artists were and are certainly important, this survey also emphasizes that we have a wealth of information in our collections pertaining to other less prominent LGBTQ+ musicians, dancers, playwrights, and creators. Here are a few such names that you might not already be familiar with.

Learn More, Read the Complete Blog Post

Direct to Complete Survey: LGBTQ+ Artists Represented in the Performing Arts Special Collections in the Library of Congress Music Division
50 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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