Editorial Principles

Sources | Language | What Makes this Resource Beta? | CWRC | Technical Specifications | Contact Us

Our Stories

The Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada project publishes searchable event records of the gay liberation movement online. The project has been heavily influenced by the ethos of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, whose motto is “Keeping Our Stories Alive.” Built and maintained by the community it serves, the CLGA was established by Ron Dayman in 1973 out of The Body Politic (later Pink Triangle Press) collective’s papers. The Body Politic and other gay liberation periodicals, handbills, and circulars bear important witness to the work of gay liberation activists in the 1960s and 1970s. The stories of gay liberation (and the important ways that Canadian gay liberation politics and activism differ from both gay rights politics and activism today and from analogous histories in other countries), will only live on, however, through intergenerational transmission. In short, gay liberation only lives on if we, members of the generations that have followed and benefitted from gay liberation, know about the good work of the activists that have preceded us. Our hope is that the Lesbian and Gay Liberation in Canada project, and this website in particular, will help support Canadian gay cultural heritage through preservation and transmission.


The two volumes of Lesbian and Gay Liberation In Canada: A Selected Annotated Chronology (spanning 1964 to 1975 and 1976 to 1981), by Donald W. McLeod, represent two decades’ archival research. The LGLC event text, drawn from McLeod’s volumes, was gathered primarily from the archival holdings of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in Toronto, the Archives gaies du Quebec in Montreal, the Canadian Women's Movement Archives in Ottawa, the University of British Columbia archives and the New York Public Library, further supplemented by personal correspondence, and data gathered from print periodicals and online sources. The data about people, organizations, periodicals, and places builds on McLeod’s text, and incorporates data from other archives, commercial research databases, and LGLC project surveys.

A Note on Language

This is a history project: the event text represents language used between 1960s and early 1980s. Many terms that were used in the past may seem anachronistic or even offensive today. We have preserved this language in order to capture, as best as we can, the cultural context for the Canadian gay liberation movement. This includes terms that people used to define themselves, as well as terms others used to refer to them. Similarly, the project’s contextual essays mix historical language with that contemporary to the 2010s. We will not update the 2010s language, not out of a desire to offend future readers as language and the meaning it carries evolves, but rather to leave a record of contemporary thinking about queer lives, politics, and experience.

What Makes this Resource Beta?

Both the encoding and the database that underpin lglc.ca are designed to show the connections between people, places, organizations, occupations, and events (and citations for the events’ archival sources) through plain text, network graphs, maps, and timelines. The project is also working on a natural language processing-based search to aggregate content thematically rather than by keyword search. The interface of this beta version of the site, however, only allows for finite faceted text search (although the results themselves are unlimited — the search page returns the entire Lesbian and Gay Liberation In Canada: A Selected Annotated Chronology on searches where no search parameters are defined) of event records from 1964-1977. The beta version of the essays have no inline styling, which means that none of the titles in the text are in italics.


LGLC is also an infrastructure pilot project of the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) at the University of Alberta. The TEI-XML encoded volumes of Don McLeod's chronology are housed by CWRC and are part of its Online Research Canada (ORCA) database. By being included in CWRC, LGLC content will be made available as part of an interdisciplinary, open-access library database, for use by researchers and students worldwide.

Technical Specifications

The project is underpinned by plain text, encoded in P5 TEI (the XML of the Text Encoding Initiative). It and the csv that underpin our prosopography are transformed into Cypher, the language of Neo4j, the graph database that returns results to our Search and Essay pages. The site’s interface comprises bootstrap, jade, and node.js, which is served via forever.js.

Contact Us

We are happy to share our TEI and are actively seeking contributions to our contextual essays section. If you would like to contribute an essay elucidating any of the LGLC events please contact us at michelle[dot]schwartz[at]ryerson.ca and constance[dot]crompton[at]ubc.ca.

Constance Crompton and Michelle Schwartz