Columbia LGBT records, 1961-1990 bulk 1967-1989
|Columbia University. Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Alliance
|8.83 linear feet (8.83 linear feet 8 record cartons 2 document boxes)
|Columbia University Archives
|View CLIO record and Request Material >>
Led by Stephen Donaldson, an openly bisexual student, Columbia students banded together to start the Columbia Student Homophile
League (SHL, 1967-1970) in 1967. Columbia University was the first university in the country to officially recognize a gay
student group. The name of this group has evolved over the years in response to changing views and needs of the LGBT community
on campus. In 1970 the group was renamed Gay People at Columbia (GPC, 1970-1985) and was also referred to as Gay People at
Columbia-Barnard (GPC-B) between1972-1976. In 1984-85, around the time of co-education at Columbia College, the group merged
with Lesbians at Barnard to form Columbia Gay and Lesbian Alliance (CGLA, 1985-1989). In November 1989 CGLA renamed itself
Columbia Lesbian Bi-Sexual Gay Coalition (LBGC, 1989-1998) in order to be more inclusive of those who identify as bisexual.
In the late 1990s the group adopted the name "Columbia Queer Alliance" (1998-present) as "queer" is considered more inclusive
of the whole community.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of newspaper clippings, publications, correspondence, memos, meeting minutes, and promotional material
related to the activities and interests of Columbia's LGBT student groups. It also contains some syllabi, reading material
on homosexuality, financial statements, surveys, and a few photographs. This collection extensively documents the activities
of Columbia's nationally and internationally recognized LGBT student groups from the establishment of the Student Homophile
League in 1967 through 1990. The collection offers insight into gay life at Columbia University and includes extensive correspondence
containing frequent requests for information about making social contacts in the gay community and from researchers of all
ages looking for assistance with their projects on topics related to homosexuality. Through collected subject files, the collection
also documents gay life on other university campuses in the 1970s. Lastly, the contents of this collection also bear witness
to the rise of queer studies in university curricula via syllabi and readings from the "gay study group" in the 1980s.