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A view into our living room, subject files on the left
(click to enlarge)

In Person
We would love for every lesbian in the world to be able to visit the Archives. Undoubtedly it is the best way for you to see and use the material we have. You can visit the Archives anytime we’re open to browse, read a book, watch a video or to do research. You do not need any special appointment; you do not have to call in advance. However, our open hours differ each month. To find out when we are open you can call the Archives or you can check out our calendar.

If you have a particular project in mind and are coming to the Archives needing specific types of material, you should call ahead so that we can discuss what materials are available. And, if you are coming from out of town or if you will need a large block of time for your work, please contact us at least two weeks ahead and preferably as far in advance as possible. Although we may not be staffed every day, we will try our best to make special arrangements for access to the collection.

Every June, on the day of the New York City Dyke March (the day before the Pride March), we have an Open House at the Archives and give tours all day. However, you can also arrange for a group tour anytime during the year. Simply call up as far in advance as possible and we will try to find a time suitable to us and to your group.

From a Distance
Since we strive to serve all Lesbians, and not just the Dykes of New York, we try to find ways for you to use The Archives from a distance. We may be located in New York City but we do actually provide services to lesbians the world over.

Each year we respond to hundreds of research requests sent to us either by fax or letter. Obviously we cannot do your research. However, we can point you in the direction of material on your topic (another library or archive) and/ or give you a few references in answer to your question.

Dyke March 2007
(click to enlarge)

In order to use the Archives from a distance it is best if you have a specific request, such as a certain article in a specific journal, along with the author, date and title, rather than a broad request such as "Do you have any material on Lesbian mothers?" in which case the answer would be "yes, a tremendous amount." We can point you towards published periodical listings as well.

The strength of The Archives' collection is that we have many obscure lesbian/feminist periodicals and books that no other library or Archives bothered to keep or even knew existed. However, this material cannot be taken out of the Archives. If you are looking for a specific article or two (which are of reasonable length), we can photocopy them and send them to you. If, however, it is a book you are looking for, the best we can do is let you know if we have it or not, or possibly copy a few pages for you. We an also let you know how much material we have about a specific organization or on a specific topic, or if we have a specific video, etc., so you can decide whether it is worth a visit.

There are several other ways you can use the Archives from a distance. We can provide a speaker or do a slide show presentation about the Archives and Lesbian herstory for any group. You do not have to be affiliated with an institution or be an organized group. You and your friends might just want to find out about the Archives and our work. We would be pleased to try to make suitable arrangements. The Archives has made such presentations all over the United States as well as in other countries. However, if you are outside of New York City we ask that you provide transportation and, if necessary, lodging and other expenses. And, if you are making this request for an institution (i.e. a college or university) which would ordinarily provide an honorarium for speakers, we ask to be given an honorarium as well. Finally, we have a series of traveling exhibits, which have been shown around the world.