The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project is part of the Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Transgender voices and experiences are often missing in contemporary documentation and the historic record. The goal of this Project is to empower individuals to tell their story, while providing students, historians, and the public with a richer foundation of primary source material about the Transgender community. Materials are housed within the Tretter Collection.

Phase 1 of this Project (2015-2018) focused on documenting the experience of transgender and gender queer people in the Upper Midwest. Oral Historian Andrea Jenkins conducted 200 interviews covering identity, family, love and experiences. These oral histories are posted online. There is also an online exhibit about Phase 1.

Phase 2 of the Project (late 2018-2020) will shift focus. Given the focus on transgender issues, both locally and nationally, Phase 2 will examine community organizing, policy development and political activism around the country.

For more information about the project, please contact the Tretter Collection at 612-624-7526 or


Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Videos and Transcripts Online


Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Online Exhibition



Press Coverage:

The Tretter Transgender Oral History Project Access Minnesota Television, December, 2017

Narrating a Transition Continuum Magazine, October 3, 2017

U of MN's Transgender Oral History Project Releases First Round of Interviews The Column, January 4, 2017

University Oral History Project Highlights Diversity in Transgender Community St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 16, 2016

U of M's Transgender Oral History Project Collects One Life Story at a Time MinnPost, December 2, 2016

Andrea Jenkins Archives LGBTQ Stories for the Ages City Pages, June 24, 2015

Transgender Pride Minnesota Public Radio, June 12, 2015

Building An Archive of Transgender History Southwest Journal, May 5, 2015

Former Minneapolis Council Aide Brings Transgender Issues to the Forefront StarTribune, April 27, 2015

Trans Advocate Aids U Libraries Minnesota Daily, April 21, 2015

Pritzker's Foundation Funds Trans Oral History Project Windy City Times, February 22, 2015

Transgender History Project at the U of M Access Minnesota Radio, February 2015

Grant Will Help Gather Transgender Experiences Minnesota Daily, October 15, 2014

U Libraries Receives Major Multi-Year Grant For Transgender Oral History Project Continuum, October 9, 2014

The Transgender Oral History Project is funded in large part by a grant from Tawani Foundation. The project has also received support from a Headwaters Foundation for Justice Community Innovation Grant, and from individual donors.