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LGBTQ Studies

Guide to primary and secondary resources relating to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender issues.

Subject Headings/Keywords

The Library of Congress Subject Headings for LGBT-related material are quite general.  Most material is classed under homosexuality, lesbianism or transgender with various subheadings.

LCSH has a responsibility to reflect the naming of ideas as understanding and descriptive language is evolving and in transition, and occasionally lags behind current usage.  This can cause inconsistency, overlap and archaic terminology in subject headings, especially those concerning cultural identity.  For example, the subject headings transgender and transexual are both used, and the distinction isn't clear.  

A useful subject heading for historical overviews, etc.:

  • Gay liberation movement -- United States -- History

You'll probably have more success with keyword searches using transgender* or gay or lesbian* or queer* in combination with other terms.  Keyword searches include tables of contents as well as titles, which is especially helpful for tracking down edited anthologies and other multifaceted material.  You can also sort by year to bring more recent or older published material to the surface.

Ending a word stem with an asterisk enables you to find all words beginning with those letters.  For example, psych*= psychology, psychologist, psychiatry, etc.

Once you find a good source, you can use its bibliography to branch out and find more related material.

    Multidisciplinary Databases

    These indexes cover many different subject areas. JSTOR and Project Muse contain full text of articles from scholarly journals. Expanded Academic and Proquest contain some full text and link to full text in other Vassar databases through ArticleLinker.

    All databases are available from the Library home page under Indexes and Databases alphabetically and by subject.

    Search Vassar's Catalog

    Search for books, journal titles, DVDs and other material in the Vassar Online Catalog

    What Else is Out There?

     Find Books in Other Libraries

    Use ConnectNY, and WorldCat to find books in other libraries.

    These databases use the same subject headings we use in our online catalog.  If you don't know what subject heading to use, try a keyword search first and follow subject headings for relevant books to find others on the same topic.

    To get books you find in WorldCat that are not at Vassar or in ConnectNY, use ILLiad.



    While many articles on LGBT culture and history, queer theory and related subjects are published in journals throughout the academic disciplines, there are several key journals that specifically focus on LGBT and/or sexuality-related subject matter.  

    You may want to directly search the full text of the leading journals in the field, in addition to interdisciplinary databases such as Project Muse and JStor.

    Some feminist and gender studies journals that frequently publish LGBTQ-related articles are listed here, as well.

    Search for journal titles using the "Journals" tab on the library website and then follow the links to search within that particular journal.

    GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies

    Journal of Homosexuality

    Journal of the History of Sexuality

    Journal of Sex Research

    Journal of the History of Sexuality

    Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies

    Feminist Review

    Feminist Studies

    Feminist Theory

    Gender & Society

    Sex Roles