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NTL&A Dedication Ceremony Program Book (2004)

NTL&A Dedication Ceremony Program Book (2004)

Source: Labadie Collection, University of Michigan Library System. (2004, 25 March). Program book, Dedication of the National Transgender Library & Archives.






Program Book: Dedication of the NTL&A (PDF)


In 2004 the University of Michigan held a dedication ceremony for the National Transgender Library & Archive. Since the NTL&A originated with me, I of course flew to Ann Arbor to attend.

Speakers were Peggy Daub, Ph.D., Head of Special Collections; Julie Herrada, M.S.L.S., Curator, Labadie Collection; Frederick MacDonald-Dennis, M.A., Director, Office of LGBT Affairs; Kelly Garrett, M.Ed., Assistant Director, Office of LGBT Affairs; Sandra Cole, Ph.D., Professor, University of Michigan Medical School and Board Member of Gender Education & Advocacy; Mary Sue Coleman, Ph.D. (who read a message from the President); University Provost Paul Courant, Ph.D.; James Toy, M.S.W., Founder, in 1971, of the Office of LGBT Affairs; Bruce Frier, Ph.D., Professor, University of Michigan Law School and Chair, Provost Task Force on TLGB Concerns; and myself.

The program book includes written pieces by myself, Jamison Green Ph.D., Julie Herrada, and Sandra Cole, which are reproduced below. The program book is viewable in its entirety from the button above.


Dallas Denny: The Origin of the NTL&A

The Origin of the National Transgender Library & Archive

By Dallas Denny


When I was fourteen years old, I went to the card catalogue of the public library in the small (pop. 30,000) southern town in which I lived and looked up the words transvestite and transsexual. I was scared to death.

There were only two books listed. One was in the reference section— and I wasn’t about to ask the librarian for a book on that subject! The other was shelved in the stacks, but I couldn’t locate it despite repeated searches over the course of the summer and fall. Since I lacked the nerve to ask the librarian about its disposition, since I wasn’t comfortable talking about my transsexualism with my parents, minister, or teachers, and since I knew nowhere else to go for information, I went without.

Around 1975, I was in the bookstore of my college and happened upon a compendium of underground comics that included a story about a San Francisco transsexual. I had little money to spare for nonessentials, so I didn’t buy it, and more’s the pity, because for nearly 20 years, it was the only piece of literature I was able to find that depicted transsexuals as anything other than desperately unhappy, mentally deranged, or woefully sinful.

A few years later, I happened across a transgender-themed book in a remainder bin in a mall. The Man-Maid Doll, a sordid autobiography of a transgendered prostitute in New York City, was the first acquisition of what would eventually become the National Transgender Library & Archive.

The Man-Maid Doll was soon supplemented with photocopies of journal articles and book chapters acquired at the medical library of Vanderbilt University; without exception, the material focused on the moral failings, character defects, personality disorders, and sexual deviations of transsexuals and crossdressers. On the basis of this information, I couldn’t understand how I could possibly be transsexual, as I just didn’t seem to be seductive, manipulative, suicidal, unstable, or larcenous enough.

In the fall of 1988, I finally made contact with the forming transgender community. Most of the people I met, medical literature notwithstanding, were more or less like me. Through my new contacts, I finally had access to the information I had been seeking for so many years. Before long, I had a shelf full of books, magazines, and newsletters, and a box full of correspondence. Soon, it had grown to fill a bookcase and a filing cabinet.

I was coming to realize the transgender community had little sense of its history. There seemed to be no libraries, archives, or repositories for material about transsexualism and other transgender behavior; few of the national transgender organizations even maintained file copies of their own publications. A few organizations and individuals had been wise enough to donate archival materials to universities and nonprofits, but for the most part transgender historical materials were being discarded and destroyed on a daily basis.

I hadn’t forgotten how difficult it had been to come by information, and how difficult it had been to make sense of my life in an intellectual vacuum. In the fall of 1990, I found myself, almost to my surprise, forming the American Educational Gender Information Service, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the dissemination of information to help transgendered men and women make informed choices. For nearly ten years, AEGIS would consume my life. I wrote, edited, and published a variety of materials including a quarterly journal (Chrysalis), answered correspondence, staffed a telephone information line, edited what was arguably the world’s first on-line transgender-related newsfeed, started and facilitated a local support group, and co-founded a national conference.

To keep up with what was becoming a flood of materials, in self-defense, really, I began to catalog not only my still-growing private collection, but every piece of transgender-themed material I came across. By 1992, there were thousands and thousands of entries.

At the urging of renowned sexologist and historian Vern Bullough, I signed a contract with Garland Publishers and in 1994 Gender Dysphoria: A Guide to Research was released. Weighing in at more than 650 pages, it represented the very thing my fourteen-year-old self had been seeking— access to information.

In the face of the general lack of interest in transgender history, I founded the National Transgender Library & Archive in 1992, establishing it as a division of AEGIS. I seeded the NTLA with my private collection, which had grown large, and began to actively acquire materials. By 1993, the NTLA filled two large bedrooms in the house in which I lived.

I appealed to the transgender community for financial support for the NTLA, which was now a community asset. To their credit, a dozen or so people sent the $25 I requested, but only one sent more than that, and most contributed but once. I also called for individuals willing to serve as stewards for the collection, but no one stepped forward.

In 1998, AEGIS began its metamorphosis into a new nonprofit organization. Also in 1998, I moved from the five bedroom house I had been renting into a home of my own, a circa 1930s lake cottage too small to house the NTLA. Because my venture into the wonderful world of real estate had left me short of funds, I appealed to the Atlanta community for help; the response was wonderful. Katherine and Erlene M. were kind enough to offer free storage space (they housed the collection for more than two years), and on moving day, Andrea Bennett showed up with her son and one of his friends in a truck she had rented. With the help of other volunteers, we boxed the collection and moved it to its new home, which would keep the materials dry and secure, but, alas, inaccessible in cardboard boxes and plastic bins.

From the ashes of AEGIS, Gender Education & Advocacy was born on 1 January, 2000. The first article of business was the disposition of the NTLA. The GEA board was determined that the collection would have the best possible home. In his accompanying article, Jamison Green, Chair of GEA, describes the laborious and intensive selection process, which culminated in the awarding of the NTLA to the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan Library System. In September 2000, Julie Harrada traveled to Atlanta to oversee the physical transfer of the NTLA to Ann Arbor.

Immediately upon its arrival in Michigan, the Labadie began the laborious and time-consuming process of unpacking, sorting, labeling, and cataloguing the collection.

In July 2001 I flew to Ann Arbor to visit the collection. The many books were in the stacks and in the university library computer system; to my amazement, a computer search of the words National Transgender Library brought up early a thousand books— today, more than 1200 titles appear. Scholars were already visiting and utilizing the collection. By 2003, the entire collection had been catalogued, an amazing feat.

The Labadie’s aggressive cataloguing, sensitivity to issues of privacy in personal correspondence and sincere appreciation of the NTLA materials have convinced me the GEA board made a wise decision— one which benefits the entire transgender community.



The NTLA contains more than 1000 transgender-themed books published from the 1800s to the present. Some are private or obscure printings or special editions, and some are signed by the authors. There are runs of many years of magazines, newsletters, journals, and newspapers, and clippings dating from the early 20th century. There are garments, including the infamous Transexual Menace t-shirt and two pairs of shoes worn by transgenderist Virginia Prince some 50 years ago. The collection includes lapel pins and buttons, awards, flyers and brochures, name badges, program books, signs, audiocassette tapes, and handouts from conferences, and questionnaires. There are programs from night clubs— my favorite is a 1953 book from Mme. Arthur’s in Paris— playbills, publicity photos from films, old postcards and tintypes, calendars, comic books, sheet music, and greeting cards. There are any number of unpublished manuscripts, original artwork, LPs and video tapes and video disks, movie posters, bumper stickers, mugs, bottles of wine, and key chains and other giveaways. There are packets containing personal histories, and oral histories recorded on tape. If it has a transgender theme and I came across it, it’s in the collection.

The NTLA also contains the corporate files of AEGIS; this includes file copies of all publications, publicity material, and a huge correspondence. Of particular note are thousands of often desperate typed and handwritten requests for help and information. Due to the sensitive and private nature of some of these materials, access is restricted to selected documents.


Dallas Denny

Founder, American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc.

Founding Board Member, Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc.

Atlanta, GA

March, 2004

Jamison Green: Gender Education & Advocacy

Gender Education & Advocacy

Jamison Green


Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc. (GEA) was founded January 1, 2000 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization focused on the needs, issues, and concerns of gender-variant people in human society. Its founders and current board members (listed here in alphabetical order), Sandra Cole, Dallas Denny, Jamison Green, and Gwendolyn Smith, have dedicated themselves to educate and advocate for themselves and others like them, and on behalf of all human beings who suffer from all forms of gender-based oppression.

GEA is incorporated in the State of Georgia and does business in Decatur, GA and Oakland, CA. GEA’s strongest ongoing presence, however, is on the World Wide Web at, where visitors can find the award-winning “Remembering Our Dead” project that documents transpeople whose deaths were the result of anti-trans and homophobic violence, the Gender Advocacy Internet News (GAIN) service archives, numerous articles and resources on transgender and transsexual topics, and free educational materials that anyone may use to further the cause of education and advocacy on behalf of all gender-variant people.

GEA is particularly concerned with “non-political” advocacy, the kind of educational work that is needed to inform local, regional, national, and international policy, and all political decision-making. GEA’s administration understands there is a need for sustained, comprehensive and deliberate efforts in such areas as the improvement of transgende r­related health care, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, health insurance coverage, education and credentialing of health care providers, and monitoring and responding to defamatory coverage of transgender issues in the media. GEA is also concerned with the preservation of transgender history and the encouragement of respectful and accurate scholarship about and within the transgender movement and community.

GEA is the successor organization to the American Educational Gender Information Service (AEGIS), which was founded by Dallas Denny in 1991. As such, GEA was the recipient of all the historical materials, files, and library collections of that organization, including the National Transgender Library and Archives (NTL&A), the world’s largest catalogued collection of works regarding gender-variant people.

In order to adequately preserve and ensure the useful future of the NTL&A collection, GEA initiated a nationwide search for the best repository for the collection. No funds were solicited in exchange for the materials, only the assurance that the collection would be properly maintained and maximally available to any researcher. Following a rigorous selection process that scrutinized very competitive proposals from a dozen major national institutions, the GEA board awarded the NTL&A to the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan Library in May 2000. The NTL&A material was transported to Ann Arbor in October 2000, where it has been thoroughly reviewed, catalogued, and made available to the public. Any materials in the NTL&A that duplicated those already in the Michigan Library System were donated to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities at the GLBT Historical Society of Northern California in San Francisco.

The Labadie Collection is renowned for its collections of various social justice movements, and if there is a distinct political feature of the NTL&A collection, it is the voice of an aspect of humanity that has long been marginalized, misunderstood, and oppressed. GEA is proud of the longstanding efforts of members of the communities of gender-variant people to live freely and to obtain equality under the law. GEA is also proud of its association with the Labadie Collection of the University of Michigan, and grateful for that institution’s concern and respectful treatment of the records of our lives.

Jamison Green, M.F.A. Board Chair Founding Board Member Gender Education & Advocacy March 2004

Julie Herrada: A Word From the Curator

A Word From The Curator…

Julie Herrada


It was apparent to me when I first looked at the inventory to the NTL&A that Dallas Denny had spent a great deal of time and energy putting this collection together. As such, I have made every effort to treat it with the same care, while at the same time making sure it is widely accessible.

The huge outpouring of community and campus support, along with the Library’s commitment to diversity, and the Labadie Collection’s longevity and tradition of documenting the history of gender and sex radicals made the NTL&A a perfect match. Because of the size and diverse nature and format of the collection, several UM Libraries, including Taubman Medical, Social Work, Public Health, Graduate, Undergraduate and Special Collections all took on part of the responsibility for cataloging, housing, preserving and providing access to the NTL&A. It includes not only hundreds of books (fiction and nonfiction), comic books, and serials (newsletters, magazines, journals, etc.), audio and video cassettes, and record albums, but also over 30 linear feet of correspondence, organization records, photographs, posters, buttons, book chapters, articles, artifacts, and legal cases. It was a joint effort that could not have been possible without the enthusiastic support and assistance of the entire campus library community.

Due to this joint effort the NTL&A is now accessible through the Library’s online catalog, MIRLYN, throughout the campus community and beyond. A keyword search on “National Transgender Library” brings up over 1200 titles of books and periodicals. Many (though not all) of the books are available via Interlibrary Loan (by visiting your local public or academic library). A finding aid to the archival materials is available electronically or in print upon request, and will soon be placed on the internet. Access to all materials is also available in person at the various holding libraries during their respective hours.

It is certainly obvious to me now what a treasure this collection is, and what a wonderful treasure Dallas Denny is to the transgendered community, as well as to the rest of us whose education and understanding about the issues facing transgendered people is essential to building a more enlightened world.

Julie Herrada, M.S.L.S.

Curator, Labadie Collection Special Collections Library

Jim Toy's Remarks

Jim Toy’s Remarks


My colleagues and my friends, Senator Brator—

Please forgive me—instead of relating a number of historical details, I’d like to think with you briefly about the meaning of those details.

The word “archive” derives from the Greek—it meant “beginning,” and it meant “government.” Today archive usually means a repository for official records of beginnings.

The National Transgender Library & Archive that Dallas Denny created, and that the University has acquired, with the particular help of Professor Sandra Cole and Julie Herrada and others, contains records of the beginning and the subsequent life of a social-justice movement—a movement advancing the human and civil rights of a disenfranchised group.

The records of this group necessarily record directly, or refer to the survival and the struggles and the achievements of the individuals associated with it.

Archives contain records of beginnings. Birth is a beginning.

The University of Michigan has birthed many groundbreaking resources responding to concerns of human sexuality.

In 1971, at the request of the Ann Arbor Gay Liberation Front, the University birthed the Human Sexuality Office, which is now titled the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Affairs. This office was the first of its kind in this country, and presumably in the world. Could we believe that the University ruminated with itself for perhaps only six months before it created the office?

For many years Professors Theodore Cole and Sandra Cole provided at the University broad and pioneering educational services concerning human sexuality and disability.

For seventeen years Sandra Cole served as a faculty member at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Cole was the course director for standard and for Interflex Medical School courses on human sexuality.

In 1993 Sandra Cole birthed the Comprehensive Gender Services Program, a resource unique in this country, including medical, surgical, and mental-health services for its clients.

About births—at our biological birth we are assigned to a gender. The assignment is based on our perceived sex at birth.

We subsequently are taught the rules of gender, by precept and by example. In particular, we must identify with, express, and enact the gender to which we were assigned at birth. n particular, we are expected to be attracted only to people of the so-called “opposite sex.” If we break the rules of gender, we risk shunning, harassment, discrimination, and assault, up to and including murder.

Some persons, as they move along their life journey, find themselves at variance with their natal gender assignment.

These transgender people rebirth themselves into a new gender identity. Their grief, their tears, their sweat, their blood, their energy and their joy infuse the National Transgender Library & Archive with the rare and costly perfume of survival, struggle, and achievement.

Transgender people engage in a second birth, a new beginning, in a rebirth into a new gender identity. Bisexual, lesbian, and gay male people engage in a similar rebirth—a rebirth into a sexual orientation different from the heterosexual one that we all are expected to express.

Recently, under the thoughtful guidance of the Provost, and with the skills and knowledgeable help of Professor Bruce Frier and Assistant Provost Glenda Haskell and others, the University of Michigan birthed a new effort to address concerns of gender identity and concerns of sexual orientation. This effort will ultimately create in our all-encompassing campus community a climate of safety, justice, and acceptance for members of the transgender community, and for the communities of bisexual/lesbian/gay male people and their allies.

When the University of Michigan, this Alma Mater, supports these births and rebirths, the University is accused of leading society down a slippery slope, to the destruction of the human family, to lawlessness, and to damnation.

I think today of another slipper slope, a slope that a young person named Alice descended. When Alice reached the bottom of the slope, she found herself—where? Not in a den of perversion: she found herself in a Wonderland of marvelous beings.

My transgender friends, you marvelous beings, I hope you are finding your Wonderland. I think you for letting me be, in some way, a companion on your journey.

Namaste! Walk in sunshine!

Sandra Cole: Final Comments

Final Comments

Sandra Cole


It is with enthtusiasm and appreciation that I have been apart of the process to ensure the safekeeping of the National Transgender Library & Archives, now safely housed in the University of Michigan Library System.

As a friend and colleague of Dallas Denny for almost fifteen years, I was honored to be invited as a Founding Board Member of Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Dallas Denny and Jamison Green, and the other members of GEA since its inception.

I have sincere respect for the entire team of specialists who prepared and submitted the University of Michigan NTL&A applicant proposal to GEA. Once this new acquisition was granted and received, the NTL&A library was quickly made a Labadie Collection priority to be processed and archived over the next two years by the University team of library specialists under the careful guidance of Julie Herrada.

It has been a pleasure to work with Julie Herrada, Curator of the Labadie Collection, and Kelly Garrett, Education Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs, to organize the Dedication of this unique academic NTL&A library to the University of Michigan.

The significant history of the emergence and presence of the transgender community over the past few decades and its quest for civil rights and social justice nationally and worldwide is well documented in our contemporary culture, and history continues to be made daily as the momentum for acceptance of this heretofore disenfranchised and under-served part of our population progresses. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in this process of social change for the transgender community nationally, regionally, and locally during the past twenty-two years, providing my professional skills and services as a sexologist, gender specialist and advocate.

The University of Michigan is to be commended for its integrity and continued commitment to diversity and the welfare of its students, staff and faculty.

Sandra S. Cole, Ph.D. Professor (ret.), University of Michigan Medical School Founding Board Member, Gender Education & Advocacy




Labadie Special Collections

Gender Education & Advoacy, Inc.

Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs

Planning Committee

Sandra Cole Julie Herrada Kelly Garrett

Special Thanks to Lavender Information Library Association

Special Collections Library

Hatcher Graduate Library

Shapiro Undergraduate Library

Taubman Medical Library

Social Work Library

Public Health Library