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Gay archives, said to be nation's largest, to be given to USC

October 7, 2010 |  6:18 pm

The ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, which is said to be the nation’s largest collection of historic material and books related to homosexual and transgender life, is being donated to USC’s library system, officials announced Thursday. The collection has been housed rent-free in a USC-owned building near the Los Angeles campus on West Adams Boulevard for the last decade but had been considered an independent entity until now.

Joseph Hawkins, president of ONE’s directors, said his organization decided to give the collection to USC to ensure it a permanent home and take advantage of the university’s preservation resources. “This protects it in a way we couldn’t protect it ourselves,” he said. His group will continue to exist to sponsor exhibits, help raise funds and find new material for the archives, he said.

The ONE collection includes more than 23,000 books, 11,000 films and videos and 9,000 magazines and journals that trace the gay liberation movement, the AIDS crisis and the debate over homosexual marriage, among other subjects.

Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries, said she was delighted with the donation. “It’s a world-class research collection,” she said, noting that it will attract scholars in such fields as sexuality, anthropology and history.

-- Larry Gordon