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Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York [ca. 1920-2018]: Home

Descriptive Summary


The Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York

Date Span:

ca. 1920-2019; bulk, 1970-2000

Acquisition Number:



Over 80 individuals, groups, and organizations; see inventory


Madeline Davis; additional donors available upon request

Date of Acquisition:



198 boxes and bound print; 400+ linear ft




Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State 


2009-2016: Dan DiLandro
2016-2017: Hope Dunbar
2018: Hope Dunbar, Melissa Fanton, Heather Hartz
2019: Hope Dunbar, Ashley Anderson, Elizabeth Acevedo

Information on Use


The Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York is open for research. Parts of the collection may be in processing; please contact an Archivist for additional information on particular sections of the collection.

Reproduction of Materials: 

See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials. 

Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the SUNY Buffalo State assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: 

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, The Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:

In 2001, noted gay rights activist Madeline Davis founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Archives of Western New York as a way to collect, safeguard, and provide access to materials that document the LGBTQ+ communities of Western New York and Southern Ontario. 

In 2009, the archives were transferred to SUNY Buffalo State’s E. H. Butler Library. Housed in the Archives and Special Collections, the archives have expanded to more than 300 linear feet of items and become the region’s largest LGBTQ+ collection. More than 80 individuals, groups, and diverse organizations are represented in the tens of thousands of documents and items that include photographs, local organizational records, multimedia materials, pamphlets, posters, clippings, awards, signs, banners, plaques, published materials, as well as an array of ephemeral items and other pieces that date back to the 1920s.

Stewards of the collection are thrilled to be able to contribute to global projects such as the “Wearing Gay History Project” and the “Digital Transgender Archives” as well as the “New York Heritage” site and our local digital platforms in order to make the essential historical material available to students, communities, researchers, and other scholars from around the world.

Through generous funding, SUNY Buffalo State is able to hire and teach students on the importance of material of this nature as well as to be able to have their expertise add to descriptive knowledge bases for description and access.

The SUNY Buffalo State Madeline Davis LGBTQ+ Archives is actively soliciting donations of materials and further support.  As Madeline Davis herself has said, “Our community has a past, but no history.”  The presence and continued growth of the many collections in the Archives help to assure that our shared history will only grow in scope and importance.  Any contributions to the collections will help fill in historical gaps, assuring that we have a past, a history, and a future.

Scope and Contents:

Abstracts; albums; articles; audio cassette; awards; booklets; brochures; buttons; calendars; CDs; community service pamphlets; correspondence; court documents; ephemera/memorabilia; essays; family trees; financial reports; interviews; letters; magazines; mini cassettes; needlepoints; negatives; newsletters; obituaries; organizational business records; photos; plaques; playbills; poems; posters; publications; pulp fiction/romance; screenplays; scripts; textile artifacts; transcripts; VHS; and yearbooks.


Please see the additional documents for a collection inventory list or contact an Archivist.