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This is the wiki for the Houston Area Rainbow Collective History, or Houston ARCH. ARCH was established as a coalition of Houston archivists to preserve and document Houston lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history.


In many communities, local LGBT history has remained largely inaccessible to researchers, educators, the general public, and even the LGBT community itself. Documentation of the queer experience in general is often fragmentary and scattered. However, our history DOES exist...be it in old photo albums or scrapbooks, letters and journals, boxes of memorabilia and keepsakes left behind by others, or the tall tales and stories held in the collective community memory. These personal treasures often go unrecognized despite the important community history they contain. While the Houston ARCH project has many facets, the overarching goal is to uncover and preserve the collective community memory so that our stories can be told. 



Who is Houston ARCH?




 Botts Collection

 The Botts Collection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History, Inc.  (Botts Website)






Charles W. Botts Memorial Research Library of GLBT Studies 

 A privately owned collection, currently unavailable to the public 






Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender History, Inc (GCAM Website) 






Houston Public Library / Houston Metropolitan Research Center / 

The African American Library at the Gregory School






Rice University-Special Collections 

Provided through the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 





TFA Archive

the Transgender Foundation of America Archival Collection. This collection is currently looking for a permanent home and is temporarily inaccessible.







University of Houston-Special Collections 





Learn more about Houston ARCH's mission.

Download the Houston ARCH brochure.

View a timeline of Houston ARCH activities, including minutes and publicity.

We've also compiled a list of selected repositories, archives, libraries, and museums specializing in LGBT History.



Community History Subject Areas


  • LGBT Interactive History Timeline- Explore our interactive timeline that documents local LGBT events and history and compares them to national and global events occurring at the same time. User input in STRONGLY encouraged!!


  • The Bars - Local watering holes have played an important part in every "gayborhood" as both a meeting place and community focal point.





  • Oral History Interviews - It is critical that we gather word of mouth histories of what went on in Houston. Students of Rice University's "Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies" class have already made a small beginning. (See the Outsmart article from June 2007.) Houston ARCH plans to organize a team of interested individuals to continue capturing our quickly disappearing history and life stories from important figures and pillars of the Houston area LGBT Community. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved.


  • Internal Project Pages Feel free to browse our internal working project pages if you're interested in learning more about the behind the scenes project work, including technical issues, funding opportunities, outreach, etc.  


  • All Houston ARCH Wiki Pages - Many of the current pages on the Houston ARCH wiki have not yet been organized into folders and may only be accessible by viewing the complete list of all current Houston ARCH wiki pages.




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