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Stonewall Library & Archives

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The Stonewall Library & Archives is a privately-operated library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida which focuses on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) cultural and historical documents and publications.[1] The circulating collection currently contains over 18,000 books, videos, and DVDs;[2] making it the largest circulating LGBT library in the southeastern United States.[3] The library is open to the public, but membership is required to check materials out from the library.[4]


The library has formed a 501(c)3 corporation, the Stonewall Library & Archives Foundation, as a fund-raising arm, allowing tax-deductible donations to be made to the library.[2] The foundation set up an endowment program and has set a goal to raise $1 Million to fund the endowment.[5]


The Stonewall Library & Archives was founded in 1973 by members of the Stonewall Committee in Hollywood, Florida and was first directed by Mark N. Silber. The collection remained open only to a select group of colleagues until 25 May 1985. Five years later, the library merged with the Boca Raton-based Southern Gay Archives and they formed Stonewall Library & Archives, Inc. In 2001, the library and archive moved into the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida at 1717 North Andrews Avenue.[6]

The center, however, is slated for demolition, so Stonewall began looking for other options. They were approached by Broward County, who offered the collection space at the Fort Lauderdale branch of the Broward County library, which already includes tenant ArtServe. The Broward County Commission approved the move in a 9-0 vote on 10 June 2007.[7][8]


On 10 July 2007, the Fort Lauderdale city commission also voted, on a 3-2 vote, to allow the library to occupy a space in the building that is city owned, but under long-term lease to the county. Before the vote, mayor Jim Naugle denounced the library, claiming that it contained pornographic materials.[9] Executive Director Jack Rutland noted that the three titles singled out by Naugle were all part of the library's non-circulating archive of 7000 titles, maintained for historical and research purposes only.[10] The dispute was another round in a stormy relationship between the city's large gay community and Naugle, who has repeatedly made statements that are perceived as anti-gay.[11]


  1. Mission/History. Stonewall Library & Archives. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Pioneer Founders:About Us. Stonewall Library & Archives Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-07-17.
  3. "So. Fla. gay library moving", United Press International, 9 June 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-23. 
  4. Get Involved. Stonewall Library & Archives. Retrieved on 2007-07-23.
  5. The Capital Campaign. Stonewall Library & Archives Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-07-17.
  6. Searcy, Fred (Winter 2001). "Stonewall Library and Archives Moves into the New Millennium". The Florida Archivist Vol. 17 (No. 1): Pages 2–3. 
  7. Mayo, Michael. "Fort Lauderdale mayor turning into his own worst enemy", Sun-Sentinel, 19 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-23. 
  8. Rutland, Jack. "New facility offers public local resources", Sun-Sentinel, 19 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-23. 
  9. Martinez, Ani. "Mayor takes new jab at gays as library is OK'd", The Miami Herald, 11 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. 
  10. Wilcox, Barbara. "Naugle notwithstanding, Fort Lauderdale to get new LGBT library", The Advocate, 12 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. 
  11. "Homosexuality is a sin, mayor says", WTVJ, 13 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-17. 

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