Queer Museums and Archives to Explore Online While Quarantining

Stephen Francis

While social distancing, + people may face challenges that cisgender and heterosexual people don’t, whether that’s being isolated from the rest of the community or stuck with unsupportive family members. But while staying inside, there are plenty of opportunities to explore queer history and culture from the comfort of your home. Here are some of the museums and archives that have virtual collections available:


Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art 

26 Wooster St., New York, NY 10013

You can search this art museum’s online database by keyword, sort by medium and artist or click “random image” to learn about a randomly generated piece from the collection.


GLBT Historical Society Museum and Archives

4127 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94114

In addition to the institution’s selected online archives, Google Arts and Culture has helped make two current exhibits available online: “Pioneering Periodicals,” a history of queer publications and “Picturing Kinship,” the paintings and photography of Lenore Chinn. 


The ArQuives 

34 Isabella St., Toronto, ON M4Y 1N1

Canada’s LGBTQ2+ archives has a substantial digital presence, with documentary footage, digitized documents and photographs. The material is also organized into special digital exhibits, including Genderqueer in Canada and Queer Liberation Theory. 


Virtually Queer 

Virtually Queer is the online presence of Queer Britain, the national queer museum of the United Kingdom. The current video series, Our Naked Skin, focuses on queer women in activism.


Library of Congress LGBTQ+ Studies Research Guide

10 First St. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540

The Library of Congress has assembled this list of libraries, archives, databases, publications and historical societies for research purposes, but it’s fun to just explore too!


Rainbow History Project

This online resource focuses on queer history in Washington D.C., with thorough online archives, oral histories and public panels. The museum is also working to develop online exhibits– their first, about the Gay Liberation Front, recently went up.


Wearing Gay History

Wearing Gay History is a unique project that aims to chronicle the history of queer-themed T-shirts. In addition to exploring the archive, viewers can check out virtual exhibits or browse by location.


Lesbian Herstory Archives

484 14th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215

This archive focuses specifically on the history of lesbians. You can take a virtual tour or look through the audio, video and photography archives, as well as explore over 60 years of newsletters. 


LGBTQ Religious Archives

This collection specializes in the intersection between queer and religious communities. You can check out online exhibitions, look through a virtual bookshelf or learn more through their curated list of resources


Queer Music Heritage 

Fifteen years of the radio show “Queer Music Heritage” are preserved on this website, along with playlists and additional pages of information on specific genres, artists and time periods. 


Queer Zine Archive Project

The Queer Zine Archive Project aims to preserve zines, which are independent, small-circulation publications of art and writing, from throughout history. They also distribute new zines– a project that is still happening, even through quarantine!


LGBTQ Oral History Hub

The LGBTQ Oral History Hub is a collection of oral histories gathered from a variety of niche queer groups, from ACT UP Oral Histories to the Utah Queer Oral Histories Collection.


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