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Documenting Lesbian Lives: Student Oral History Project

We have transitioned to a new discovery system, ArchivesSpace. At this time, this page is not being updated. A full list of Documenting Lesbian Lives participants can be found in ArchivesSpace.


The Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project is a collection of life histories of women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, woman-identified-woman, queer, or who prefer not to identify with sexuality categories. The project provides a complex and nuanced collective story of American lesbian history and experience. Interviews were conducted by Smith College students in Kelly Anderson's 'Documenting Lesbian Lives' course in the spring of 2010 to the present. Students were trained in both United States lesbian history and oral history techniques and protocols. Narrators include grassroots activists and political organizers, educators and academics; musicians, writers, and artists; as well as community and religious leaders. They come from a variety of class, ethnic, racial, social, and geographic backgrounds. Interviews cover childhood and growing up experiences; education and employment; activism and politics; family, identity, relationships, and community.

The Narrators page includes biographical sketches and abstracts of interviews for each narrator, plus links to the full transcripts (on Smith campus only) for most of narrators.

Note: This is an undergraduate student project. The oral histories were conducted and transcribed by the students. Due to the high volume of text involved and finite staff resources for proofreading, there may be some typographical or formatting errors that we trust won't prove too distracting.

The Documenting Lesbian Lives Oral History Project includes recorded video interviews and complete transcripts.

For more information view the finding aid to the collection.