Guide to LGBTQ Experience in Missouri

Published Sources

The State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of print sources includes not only histories and biographies of LGBTQ Missouri, but also magazines, directories, newspapers, and other materials published as resources for the LGBTQ community in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.


Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in Merlin, the shared library catalog of the four University of Missouri campuses. The best terms to search for LGBTQ sources are simply “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexuals,” or “transgender.”


Historic Missourians

Directories and Periodicals

Beginning in the 1970s, local LGBTQ organizations produced newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and directories for members of the community. Some of these can be found via Merlin catalog searches, described above. Others are included in Manuscript collections, and still others are held by different institutions around the state.

The St. Louis-based Gay News-Telegraph is available online for the years 1981-1988. At SHSMO, the paper is available under its subsequent name, Lesbian and Gay News-Telegraph, in our newspaper microfilm collection for 1988-1994.

Vertical Files

The vertical files contain magazine and newspaper clippings, handwritten information donated by patrons, bibliographies, programs, brochures, flyers, and other materials that, by reason of their physical formats, cannot be placed on the shelves with books. SHSMO's Columbia Research Center has a vertical file titled “Homosexuality—Missouri,” as well as vertical files on numerous LGBTQ Missourians, such as Helen Stephens and Tennessee Williams.