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About Us

The Rainbow History Project Archives Online is an initiative of the Rainbow History Project, whose mission is:

to collect, preserve, and promote an active knowledge of the history, arts, and culture relevant to sexually diverse communities in metropolitan Washington DC.

In accordance with this mission, the Archives Online make our rich historical collections accessible to the public. Visitors may browse over 1400 searchable items related to the history of LGBT life in the DC area. As we continue our digitization efforts, this number will grow!

To find out more about the Rainbow History Project, visit our main website and About page.

How are the Archives Online organized? 

Items - which include anything from photographs to newspapers clippings to personal documents - are organized into collections of related material. Our volunteer researchers have also put together exhibits, which tell the stories of the items and the people who created or used them. Depending on your needs, we encourage you to use the navigation tabs to browse our archives by item, by collection, or by exhibit. You can also use the search bar at the top of the page.

How can I access the oral histories?

Our Oral History Collection contains descriptions of our oral history interviews, but few sound files are publicly available. This is to protect the privacy of our oral history narrators. We encourage researchers, students, and community members to contact us at info@rainbowhistory.org to request access to particular interviews.

Can I access more items?

Our Archives Online represent a small sample of the materials available in our physical collections, which are housed at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (HSW). In order to access these collections, researchers should make arrangements directly with the HSW. For more information, visit the Using Our Collections page on our main website.