The LGBTQ Iowa Archives and Library is a community archives and lending library with a mission to collect, preserve, and share the queer history of Iowa and increase access to queer literature for all ages.
The LGBTQ Iowa Archives & Library is based in Iowa City, IA and was founded in 2020 as a project to collect, preserve, and share queer history throughout the state of Iowa. For decades, the LGBTQ history of Iowa and its neighboring states have been overshadowed by the history of queer life in urban centers across the U.S. such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. At the very core of our mission is a deep understanding that LGBTQ people have always lived, struggled, and thrived in Iowa. Our experiences as small-town, rural, and Midwestern LGBTQ people are crucial to the history of our community across the U.S.
To accomplish our goals of collecting, preserving, and sharing queer history in and about Iowa we have three principal functions. The first is a lending library to share the breadth and diversity of LGBTQ writers and stories for our community to enjoy and learn from. With books for audiences of all ages, the lending library is a critical community resource that prioritizes LGBTQ authors and texts. The second function is to build an archives that captures the robust material traces of LGBTQ life in Iowa, available to community members and scholars for browsing and research. The third is to serve as an oral history resource center as we share the tools, skills, and knowledge necessary to actively capture LGBTQ history in our state through recorded interviews. To volunteer in-person or digitally at a distance, please fill out our survey located under the Get Involved tab.