The John C. Graves Library
The Stonewall Library is the largest lending library of LGBTQIA+ materials in the United States. We have more than 29,000 books, CDs and DVDs, organized and cataloged under the Library of Congress system.
Donations to the library – Diversifying the library
The vast majority of items in the library have been donated by individuals. We encourage you to drop off or send us your LGBTQIA+ books. All books by and about LGBTQIA+ subjects are of interest to us. We do not, however, accept books which do not contain LGBTQIA+ subject matter.
We receive new donations several times each week. When items are donated, they are compared against current holdings. The new item will be added if we do not have it or if it is in better condition. If your item is a duplicate, we sell it for $2-$3 or endeavor to place it in another LGBTQIA+ library or community center.
Due to the unintentional nature of our past collecting activities, we are aware of our paucity of items by/ for BIPOC. We actively seek to improve these deficits in our collection. We ask for your help in these efforts.
Borrowing books or CDs
The library is open free of charge to the general public for research and browsing books. If you would like to check out a book or CD, Stonewall membership is required.
Clubs and tours
In addition to maintaining the library, we offer a number of clubs. Click here to learn about our book, film or theatre clubs. We are also happy to host groups who want to learn more about LGBTQIA+ topics. Feel free to ask us to host your group here or to have us visit your group. Reach out to us at Inquiry@Stonewall-Museum.org to learn more.
From time-to-time, Stonewall creates research tools to assist in exploring topics in the library. While not exhaustive listings, these tools are meant to assist the researcher in finding content about a particular topic through an LGBTQIA+ lens. Please contact us at Inquiry@Stonewall-Museum.org with any suggestions.
Library Starter Kits
If you are interested in duplicates we do not intend to retain, please contact Collections Specialist, Ben Smith at Ben.Smith@stonewall-museum.org. Many organizations throughout the US have requested and received one of our “LGBTQ Library Starter Kits.” Email the museum to request a starter kit for $50, and shipping is covered by a supporting grant from Shutterstock.
Circulating collection topics
Fiction– More than 2,000 books arranged by author including books by:
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Non-Fiction – Over 6,000 books arranged by subject matter. A partial listing of categories include:
Gay / Lesbian culture
Language and Literature
Philosophy and Religion
Music, Dance and Composition
Biography – Over 400 biographies. A sampling of subjects include:
J. Edgar Hoover
John Maynard Keynes
Lawrence of Arabia
Edward I. Koch
Marquis de Sade
Bill T. Jones
Leonardo Da Vinci
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Alexander the Great
Justin Vivian Bond
Frederick the Great
Gus Van Sant
Foreign languages: Over 300 books in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Latvian, Korean and Japanese.
Fine Art: Nearly a thousand titles in photography, painting, drawing and architecture.
Pulp Fiction: More than 350 titles from 1965 to present.
Youth and Young Adults: A selection of hundreds of books relating to gay topics designed for youth and young adults.
Review a list that features book titles for: children, parents of queer kids, and queer kids.
DVDs, Audio Books and CDs: More than a thousand titles.
Archival Materials: We also house extra copies of archival materials, especially serials, for use by the general public.
Titles include “After Dark”, “Gay & Lesbian Review”, “David”, etc.
Special and Restricted collections:
Stonewall has a number of collections not available in our circulating library. Please inquire at the front desk to learn more.
Special collections: These are collections, which due to their content or unique nature, are available only on request. Topics include:
Out-of-date AIDS books: This collection, which goes back to the early 1980s, contains books about the cause, prevention and care of HIV and AIDS related illnesses. They are not kept on the public shelves because they are no longer factually correct. However, they are preserved to document the impact AIDS had on the gay male community.
Erotica: As a public library, many books containing erotica are kept off the public shelves. Those over 18 years of age may inquire about borrowing books from the erotica collection.
Signed / High Value Books: These are unique books which are kept off of the public shelves due to the relative uniqueness of the objects and difficulty of replacing them. Review list of signed books.
Restricted collection: These are rare books which do not circulate due to the rareness of the actual book. They include first editions, antique volumes signed by the author and other special attributes. In most cases, a later version of the same book is available on the public shelves for circulation.
Stonewall E-books Program
Stonewall continues to take on the challenges that face our community and other communities under attack. The removal of books from schools and libraries is one tactic being used to keep us uninformed and unprepared. The other is a rewriting of history, our history and that of other marginalized groups. These actions, following the COVID epidemic, have examples throughout history. Based on the progress human beings have made over the centuries, history has provided us with lessons and strategies to overcome even the most difficult times.
Stonewall’s collections and commitment to preserving and protecting our community’s history and culture prepares us all for the coming of a new Renaissance. It offers us a strategy to move forward with courage, not fear, and take on a leadership role as a bright new world is set to begin.
Join us as we unveil our eBooks program, making books available that might be hard to find in other places, but are easy to find here. No one should be left in the dark, as an organization, we are proud to shine a light on our history, as HISTORY=PRIDE.
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