Founded in 2014, the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory is directed by Prof. Elspeth Brown and based at the University of Toronto, in collaboration with The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives and the Transgender Archives at the University of Victoria. We are currently in our second five-year funding cycle. Our collaborating partners from 2014-2019 also included the Digital Transgender Archive and the Archives of Lesbian Oral Testimony.


Principal Investigator and General inquiries: Dr. Elspeth Brown, elspeth.brown@utoronto.ca.

Project Overview 

The LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory connects archives across Canada and the U.S. to produce a digital history hub for the research and study of gay, lesbian, queer, and trans* oral histories.

As the largest LGBTQ oral history project in North American history, the collaboratory connects hundreds of life stories using new methodologies in digital history, collaborative research, and archival practice. The project develops these methods through practice: our collaborators connect to share resources and ideas, but also roll up their sleeves to digitize tapes and make this material available online.

The Collaboratory is supported by a five-year research grant from the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project began in Summer 2014.


The Collaboratory connects LGBTQ digital histories projects across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Collaborators share resources and expertise, and develop new methods in conversation.

Digital Transgender Archive

DTA logo

A new online repository that will provide a centralized hub for transgender-related historical materials, including born-digital materials, materials contributed by independent projects, and information on archival holdings throughout the U.S., Canada, and Germany.

Lesbians Making History


This significant collection of oral histories from the 1940s – 70s is held by the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and was digitized by the Collaboratory in 2014/15. These interviews explore private and public struggles, and document how lesbians survived prior to and since the 60s-wave of feminism. In 2016, the Collaboratory created a digital collection of original audio files and other ephemera from the project, available below.

Archives of Lesbian Oral History (ALOT)

ALOT pride march

Based out of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, ALOT collects and makes available the oral histories of people who presently or at one time identified as lesbian. ALOT’s website includes oral histories resources and a rich collection grid with selected streaming audio and video.

Transgender Archives, University of Victoria


A growing special collections at the University of Victoria focused on the history of pioneering transgender activists and the work they have done on behalf of their communities.