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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center Records

Call Number: UA188

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of office records, newsletters, newspaper clippings, photographs, slides, event posters, publications, reports, web crawls, digital media, and promotional materials, including buttons, magnets, pins, stickers, t-shirts, a blanket, and graduation tassels, related to the history and activities of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center at Tufts University. The bulk of the material dates from 1989 to 2007. The materials reflect the organization’s efforts to promote LGBT rights, to raise awareness about issues facing this community, and to provide a safe space for LGBT people at Tufts. Photographs in the collection are restricted for 75 years to protect the privacy of individuals depicted in the photos.


  • Majority of material found within 1989 -- 2007
  • 1972 -- 2020


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

In 1972 the Tufts Gay Community (TGC) organization was formed to provide a space for gay and bisexual people to meet and support one another and to educate the university community about gay related issues. Although the term “lesbian” was not included in the group name until 1981, the TGC’s goal was to shed light on the issues facing the gay and lesbian community on campus. In 1980 the TGC established the first “drop-in center” on campus in Curtis Hall. By October 1987, the drop-in center was moved to Hayes House and In September of 1988, Donna Penn was hired as the first coordinator to increase programming and support services.

In 1992, with support from students, faculty and staff, Dean B. Knable established the first Lesbian Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Resource Center at Tufts in Lewis Hall and Heather Wishik replaced Donna Penn as administrator. After the holding of the first Pride on the Hill event in November 1992, the Center underwent a number of staff changes in the mid-1990s. This included the hiring of the first full-time director, Judith Brown in 1997.

In September 1998, the Tufts Rainbow House was established to provide safe housing for LGBT people on campus in light of the high number of bias incidents that occurred in residence halls. In January 2003 Dona Yarbrough was hired as the LGBT Center Director and began to push for a housing policy that would accommodate transgender students at Tufts. In the fall of 2004, Yarbrough’s Transgender Housing Policy was adopted by Residential Life and the Center also began organizing its Queer Peer mentoring program. Upon the suggestion of Yarbrough, the administration accepted a revision to Tufts University non-discrimination policy by adding gender identity and expression in the fall of 2005. From 1997 until the present, the LGBT Center has organized annual and statewide Safe Colleges Conferences, originally called "Sound Mind, Sound Body, Sound Off." The conferences include a keynote speaker and workshops created by staff and organizations, both from campus and off-campus.

Under the umbrella of the Dean of Students, the LGBT Center is part of the Group of Six, which includes: Women’s Center, Africana Center, Latino Center, Asian American Center, and the International Center.


13.65 Linear Feet (12 boxes and 1 oversized folder)

25 Digital Object(s)

1 web_sites


This collection is organized in five series: Office files; Promotional materials; Web crawls; 2018 accessions; and Unprocessed accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by the LGBT Center, 2007-2018.

Related Materials

International Center records, 1953-2012. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Asian American Center Records, 1980 -- 2017. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in spring of 2014 by Dan Bullman under the supervision of Susanne Belovari, Archivist for Reference and Collections. Materials were rehoused in archival boxes. Because materials were not arranged in any decipherable original order, we arranged materials in two series and alphabetically within each series. Folder titles added by archives staff are in brackets [].

Web sites were crawled by Archive-It. Web crawl information updated in finding aid annually.

As of March 2014, all digital material in the collection is awaiting processing because DCA is currently writing processing policies for using Bagit. The material will become series three.

A CD by the International Center regarding International Host Advisor Training was moved to UA088 (International Center records). Physical discs (largely CD-Rs and CD-RWs) were removed from the collection, preserved for two years following stabilization in the Records Archivist office and then destroyed.

Photographs in old photo albums were removed and rehoused in folders, original labels were maintained. Some generic rally and promotional posters, a banner, were returned to the Center. A large poster board for the Safe Colleges Conference depicting various LGBT services and activism at Tufts was photographed; items were pulled off the board, put in folders, labeled and included in series two. Then the poster board was discarded. The collection includes slides copyrighted by photographer Keitaro Yoshioka which therefore remain restricted and unprocessed.

Processing of the 2018 accessions was completed by Leah Edelman and Jady Zhang in 2018-2019. Materials were placed in archival boxes if the original housing was damaged, and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Received order was maintained. A file-level inventory and series-level description were created and the finding aid was updated at the time of processing.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States