Collection highlights

Notable subject areas in the Tretter Collection

Featured digital collections

GAZE-TV screenshot

GAZE-TV Collection

The Twin Cities' LGBTQ+ public access TV program (late-1980s-early 2000s)––digitized, freely available, keyword searchable, and viewable at the UMedia site. (For more about this collection, see this article from Continuum [May 2021].)

a collage of pictures of interviewees from the HIV/AIDS Caregivers Oral History Project

HIV/AIDS Caregivers Oral History Collection

A collection of recordings and transcripts of interviews with people who have worked to provide services to HIV+ people and people with AIDS in Minnesota. Freely available, searchable, and viewable on the Libraries' UMedia site. (Read more about the collection in this article from Continuum [May 2020])

Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Collection

An ongoing project designed to collect, preserve, and share oral histories of gender transgression through a trans framework. View the collection.

Picture of a t-shirt that reads "Gay American Indians"

Selected t-shirts and hats

A selection of the t-shirts and hats held in the Tretter Collection, viewable on the website

Additional digital materials are available on the University of Minnesota's digital collections website. You can browse them here.

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Audiovisual collections

The Tretter’s audiovisual collections range widely in format and content. We hold original and commercial recordings of a wide range of radio and television programs; raw documentation of protests, rallies, performances, and other events; experimental films; erotica and pornography; home movies; oral history recordings; theatrically-released motion pictures; and many other types of materials.  (For a rudimentary listing of many of the materials in our collection, see this inventory.)


fresh fruit logo - rainbow radio tower


Local and national feminist and LGBTQ radio broadcasts, such as KFAI Minneapolis's "Fresh Fruit," "We Want You to Know," and "Womenfolk"; Pacifica's "This Way Out"; "WINGS (Women's International News Gathering Service"; and more. A more complete inventory is viewable in our finding aid portal.

old CRT unit on a wooden floor


A range of national and local LGBT television programming––including public access programs such as the Twin Cities' GAZE-TV and San Francsico's Lavender Lounge; nationally distributed shows such as In the Life, posi.TV and NetworkQ, off-air recordings of mainstream national news shows and TV dramas, as well as a range of other materials. A more complete inventory is viewable in our finding aid portal.

Andrea Jenkins interviewing someone for the Tretter Trans Oral History Project

Oral histories

The Tretter Collection contains a diversity of oral history materials in the form of large collections (such as the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project, the HIV/AIDS Caregivers Oral History Project, the Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Collection) and and individual items (such as Robert Halfhill's "Oral History of the Minneapolis Gay Liberation Movement"). A more complete inventory is viewable in our finding aid portal.

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Published materials

The Tretter Collection holds a wide variety of periodicals––that is, publications that are published serially (weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, annually, or at any other frequency). Materials that fall into the category of “periodicals” range widely, and typically include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and journals, as well as catalogs, zines, comics, directories, and guides. The Collection's periodicals holdings includes materials from the US, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, dating from across the 20th and 21st centuries. Areas of strength include: Twin Cities-based LGBTQ periodicals; newsletters produced by grassroots organizations; European Homophile publications (1940s-1970s); erotic and pornographic magazines; HIV and AIDS-related publications; feminist and lesbian publications; and trans and trans-adjacent periodicals. See below for highlights.

The Collection also contains a large and wide-ranging book collection dating back to the 19th century––including rare books and popular titles; fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, poetry, pulps, erotica, art books, and more. Alongside significant English-language holdings, the Collection also contains material in many other languages––most prominently books published in German, Dutch, and Scandanavian languages, in Japanese and Chinese, and Spanish- and Portuguese.

Periodicals highlights

Twin Cities-based LGBTQ+  periodicals, such as the City of Lakes Crossgender Community News, Burn Something Zine, Women of Color/Stirfry Newsletter, Lutherans Concerned, North Country Bears Newsletter, The Uptown Voice, Holy Titclamps, and Skittles...Taste da Flava: Minnesota Men of Color Newsletter. For a more detailed inventory of our holdings in this area, see this subject guide or this map.

Early homophile publications such as Arcadie: revue littéraire et scientifique, Die Freunde, Der Kreis, The Ladder, Mattachine Review, One, Vriendschap, and more. For a more detailed inventory of our homophile holdings, see this subject guide.

Periodicals by and for LGBTQ communities of color, such as the Newsletter of the Association of Lesbian and Gay Asians; BLK; Hasha: a newsletter by and about Iranian lesbians/gays/bisexuals; Onyx: Black Lesbian Newsletter; Thing; Trikone; Two Eagles, and more.

Periodicals by and for trans and gender non-conforming communities, including the City of Lakes Crossgender Community Newsletter; Transvestia; Gender Euphoria; Original Plumbing; Transgender Community News and more.

Periodicals by and for bisexuals, e.g.: Bi women: the newsletter of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network and BiNet news: the newsletter of the Bisexual Network of the USA.

HIV/AIDS activist and organizational publications, including the Aliveness newsletter; the British Columbia Persons With AIDS Society News; Minnesota positive: HIV monthly newsletter; People with AIDS Coalition of New York Newsline; PWAlive; TPA news: the monthly newsletter for Test Positive Aware Network; Treatment issues: the GMHC newsletter of experimental AIDS therapies; and more.

Feminist and lesbian publications, e.g.:, CLOUTreach: Quarterly newsletter for Christian Lesbians Out, Feminist Bookstore News, International Lesbian Information Service Newsletter, Le'sbeinformed: the Lesbian Resource Center newsletter, Lesbian Feminist Organizing Committee Newsletter, Matrices : a lesbian/feminist research newsletter, Mom's apple pie: newsletter of the Lesbian Mothers' National Defense Fund.

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Personal papers and organizational records

Records of Minnesota-based LGBTQ organizations and personal papers of LGBTQ figures from the Twin Cities.

The papers of local elected officials and legal advocacy organizations, including Karen Joy Clark, D. Scott Dibble, Andrea Jenkins, Alan H. Spear, the GLBT project of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union, Minnesota Gay and Lesbian Legal Assistance (MNGALLA), and Minnesotans United for All Families.

The papers of local artists and arts organizations including Roger Arvid Anderson, Judith Katz, Nancy Manahan, Catherine Lundoff,  Patrick Scully, Out And About Theatre, and the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus.

The records of local youth and student organizations such as The Trans Youth Support Network, District 202, the Queer Student Cultural Center at the University of Minnesota.

The records of local BIPOC organizations, such as Minnesota Men of Color, The American Indian Gay and Lesbian Organization, Shades of Yellow (SOY), and Womyn of Color - Stirfry.

The papers of local activists including Robert W. Halfill, Michael McConnell and Jack Baker, Billy Navarro, Jr., Ethan O'Brien, Ana Silva, and David Wood and Brian Mulhern.

The papers of local educators including Lisa Albrecht, Toni McNaron, Beth Zemsky, and Mary Zubrzycki.

Documentation of non-Minnesota-based people and organizations

Including The Golden Commune, Sri Lankan Organizations Equal Ground and The Women’s Support Group, the Log Cabin Republicans, the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC), Jane Fee, Leo Skir, and the Network for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Concerns in Occupational Therapy.

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