LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) studies is a rapidly-growing field of scholarship. The keywords, techniques and sources listed here offer an entry point to topics in the GLBT Studies Minor curriculum at UH. Most of UH Libraries' LGBTQIA resources are located in the M.D. Anderson Library or online. When appropriate, some may also be found in branch libraries. For example, legal texts will mostly likely be found in the Law Library and books on LGBTQIA artists will be found in the Architecture and Art Library. Scholars and students are encouraged to investigate the LGBTQIA-focused collections in the University of Houston's Special Collections, as well. Use the link to Primary LGBTQIA Material at left to find out about these archived materials.
Pay attention. This is important.
LGBTQIA STUDIES IS INNATELY INTERDISCIPLINARY. One cannot research LGBTQIA people or topics alone without investigating one or more other fields of study. When researching LGBTQIA history, also search in history resources. When researching LGBTQIA counseling, also search in psychology resources. When researching media coverage of the LGBTQIA community, also search in communications resources. UH Libraries has research guides like this on all major subject areas and many minor ones. Investigate research tools recommended on those sites, as well.
WHAT ARE PRIMARY MATERIALS? Primary materials are documents or information-bearing objects that were created at a time period being studied. Letters, photographs, receipts, clothing, sound and video recordings and diaries are all examples of primary materials. Researchers analyze primary sources to create books, papers or other works of scholarship (which, in turn, become SECONDARY sources). Researchers have access to many LGBTQIA primary materials in the M.D. Anderson Library's Special Collections, as well as a significant collection of literature (some rare) by gay and lesbian authors. The city of Houston also offers a diverse collection of community, academic, and municipal archives containing rare and unique LGBTQIA materials, mostly pertaining to local history. Click on the appropriate links in the menu at left to discover primary material at UH and elsewhere in Houston.
WHAT IS A LIBRARY CATALOG? It is a database where researchers can locate material that UH Libraries owns or to which it subscribes. It contains the titles and subjects of books and e-books, dvd's and streaming videos, journals and e-journals, databases and other online research tools. It cannot be used to search for articles; just for the journals and magazines containing those articles.
Use the library catalog to search for materials that are broad and deep.
WHAT IS A DATABASE? A database is a searchable collection of data. The databases on this guide are packaged by publishers and other vendors and available to UH researchers because the library subscribes to them. UH researchers need to use the library's websites or catalog to access them, as they are not freely available on the Internet. Many of the databases found on this guide are focused on a particular subject, such as gender or health.
Use databases to search for materials that are focused and specific.
VARY YOUR SEARCH TERMS Just as our understanding of LGBTQIA people, culture, and health has evolved considerably, so has our associated vocabulary. When librarians entered LGBTQIA information into catalogs and databases many years ago, they may have used terms that have become outdated or even insensitive. For older material, researchers cannot limit themselves to the word "transgender," but should also use words that are now inappropriate, such as "transsexual" or "transvestite." For books on intersex individuals published before the 1940's, researchers should use similarly outdated and insensitive terms like "hermaphrodite."
*Search more efficiently by truncating some words and adding an asterisks. For example, adding an asterisk to the end of Bisexual expands the search to include bisexuals, bisexuality and bisexualism.