Sexual and Gender Diversity - Library/Archival Resources on Campus

Richards Collection

rich1Established in January 2010 this Library special collection is named in honor of Neil Richards. During his years of library employment and continuing in his retirement, Richards developed and help acquire many impressive collections of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) interest for libraries and archives at the University of Saskatchewan.  These include the records of many gay and lesbian organizations, collections of lesbian and gay pulp literature, magazines and newsletters published in LGBT communities, documentation about theatrical cross-dressing, and novels and nonfiction published before the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the birth of the modern Gay Rights movement. 

The collection contains unique, rare and/or fragile items (both in print and manuscript forms) and special collections dealing with many aspects of the history and literature of sexual and gender diversity.  It complements the Library’s extensive circulating collections on these subjects.


As of March, 2017, approximately 6,000 titles had been added to the Richards collection. All titles in the collection are given the searchable series title – Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity.  Three subseries titles have also been established to identify current collection strengths – Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pulp Literature (presently 709 titles), Canadian Gay and Lesbian Collection (presently 926 titles by Canadian authors and publishers) and Queer Mystery and Detective Fiction (507 titles), and these collections continue to grow.

Rich3The goal is to develop a collection with sufficient focus and depth to inspire and facilitate research by students and faculty. The collection aims to be distinctive to the University of Saskatchewan, and not to duplicate holdings found at other libraries or archives.  Material connected to queer life in Saskatchewan is especially prized. The collection preserves many items representing the popular culture of LGBTQ communities including lifestyle and physique magazines, comic and cartoon books, posters, film memorabilia, postcards and buttons, and sound recordings.

Titles in the Richards collection may be consulted in the University Archives & Special Collections Reading Room – Murray Library (3rd Floor South Wing).  All materials in the collection are non-circulating.

The collection has grown very rapidly through the generosity of many local, but also national and international donors.  Future development depends significantly on in-kind gifts and also financial support from the community.  If you own or know of material of interest, either printed or in manuscript form, that needs a safe and permanent home or if you wish to support our collecting activities please contact University Archives & Special Collections 

To see what we have already acquired for this collection you may search the Library’s online catalogue under the following titles –

Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity

Canadian Gay and Lesbian Collection

Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pulp Literature

Queer Mystery and Detective Fiction


Other Campus Collections of LGBTQ Interest

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon Office) Murray Building Basement

Neil RichardsNeil Richards 1949-.  This enormous collection (over 17 meters of boxes) was one of the earliest and largest collections of LGBTQ interest to be acquired by a Canadian public archive. It was donated in parts between 1985 and 2009.  Richards has participated in many local, provincial and national gay organizations since 1973.  Inspired by a six month volunteer project at Toronto’s Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives in 1983 he has been long devoted to gathering, preserving and presenting the documentary heritage of the LGBTQ communities.

The fonds consists of many series: Newspaper Clippings; Serial Publications (Magazines and Newsletters); Pornography; Subject Files;  Records of the Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon, Gay and Lesbian Support Services, Saskatchewan Gay Coalition and  Metamorphosis; Sound Recordings; Posters; Photographs;  Other Ephemera including buttons.

Fonds description at;rad
Biographical information at


Peter McGehee 1955-1991.   Records created, accumulated and used by Peter McGehee in his work as a photographic artist, performer, and writer in San Francisco, Saskatoon and Toronto.  McGehee wrote, directed, produced, and performed in the satirical cabaret acts The Quinlan Sisters and The Fabulous Sirs in the 1980s. He published a number of semiautobiographical novellas and screwball comedies including Boys Like Us (1991) and Sweetheart (1992). The fonds includes many photographs taken by McGehee, his life partner Doug Wilson and performing partner Fiji Robinson depicting their lives in Saskatoon and Toronto.

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The Quinlan Sisters
Peter McGehee (center) with Fiji Robinson (left) and Wendy Coad (right) in the a capella act The Quinlan Sisters.

Fiji Robinson 1955-.  This fonds consists of records created and or accumulated by Fiji Robinson in her career as a vocalist and performer in the musical revues The Quinlan Sisters (comprised of Robinson, Peter McGehee and Wendy Coad) between 1981 and 1984, and The Fabulous Sirs (Robinson and McGehee) between 1987 and 1990. Also included are records used in the development of a book proposal and subsequent film proposal on her career as a performance artist working with writer/director Peter McGehee. Research and notes for the online GLBTQ On-Line Encyclopedia entry for McGehee's life partner, human rights activist Douglas Wilson, are also included.

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Doug WilsonDoug Wilson 1950-1992.  This fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Doug Wilson in Saskatchewan before 1983. The records relate to his involvement in the Saskatchewan homosexual community, his leadership in the emerging gay rights movement, and the response in 1975 when his teaching duties in the College of Education were restricted by the University of Saskatchewan after his sexual orientation became public knowledge. Included are correspondence, clippings, and publications about his involvement in the creation and administration of homosexual organizations such as the Zodiac Friendship Society / Gay Community Centre of Saskatoon, and the Saskatchewan Gay Coalition.

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University Archives & Special Collections, University of SaskatchewanLibrary, Murray Library 3rd Floor South

AIDS SaskatoonAIDS Saskatoon.  AIDS Saskatoon was founded in 1986 as a volunteer, non-profit, charitable agency with a mission to work with and provide support to those affected by HIV/AIDS and to educate and inform the public about the prevention of HIV/AIDS. This collection measuring approximately 1 metre contains organizational records, newsletters, posters and publications predominately from the period 1986 to 1997.

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Don Cochrane

Don Cochrane 1940-.  This collection documents the academic career of U of S Education professor Don Cochrane. Of particular interest are files relating to the founding and the organization of the annual Breaking the Silence on Issues in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity conference at the College of Education. Among his areas of specialization are ethics and education and gay and lesbian issues in education.

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Cross-Dressing in Saskatchewan.  This collection was assembled between 2002 and 2004 by Neil Richards in connection with his exhibition All Frocked Up: Glimpses of Cross-dressing in Saskatchewan. The collection of programs, posters, photographs, video recordings and artifacts begins to document and preserve the development of cross-dressing as entertainment, including gay drag, in the province.

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Ag Bag Drag
Source: University of Saskatchewan Archives - The Greystone 1963

Charles Dobie.  These images were taken by Charles Dobie at the Fifth National Gay Conference, "Towards a Gay Community," held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 29 June - 3 July 1977.

Finding aid available at University Archives & Special Collections

Mona Holmlund

Mona Holmlund. This collection of audio-taped interviews (and transcripts) with American and Canadian lesbian couples was assembled by Holmlund,  art history professor at the U of S, as source material for the book Women Together: Portraits of Love, Commitment and Life (1991)

Finding aid available at University Archives & Special Collections



Don McNamee 1938-1994.  This collection documents the academic and personal life of Donald Keith McNamee who taught art for twenty years at the U of S.  McNamee was a fixture in Saskatoon's gay and lesbian community. Meetings at his house initiated Saskatoon’s first gay organization, the Zodiac Friendship Society (later, the Gay/Lesbian Community Centre of Saskatoon). In the early 1980s McNamee was one of the founding and most active members of the Coalition for Human Equality (CHE), formed to respond to perceptions of homophobia in the provincial Conservative government. McNamee was particularly active in the 1992 campaign urging the new NDP government to amend human rights legislation to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination.

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P. T. Millard 1932- 2001.   Peter Millard joined the University of Saskatchewan in 1961 as an Instructor in English; he eventually became head of the department. He also served a one-year term as Head of the Faculty Association.  He was an influential collector, dealer, critic and supporter of the visual arts. In the mid 1970s he took a leadership role in the emerging local gay community and became a highly visible spokesperson for gay and lesbian rights, anti-AIDS campaigns, and human rights more generally. After Millard’s death his estate gifted additional  papers  including a lengthy autobiography Or Words to That Effect that contains detailed accounts of many events in Saskatoon’s early LGBTQ history and reflections on how homosexuality affected how he chose to lead his life.

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Millard painted by Stryjek
Painting of Peter Millard by Dymtro Stryjek


Neil Richards 1949- .  This collection, not to be confused with the Neil Richards fonds at the SAB, or the Special Collections Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity, deals with the history of theatrical transvestism and gender impersonation. It is particularly rich in images of the female and male impersonators who achieved fame on British music hall and American vaudeville stages during the first half of the 20th century. In 2010 Richards added to this fonds a very large collection of material relating to the early history of professional wrestling in Canada and the United States. Formats represented in the collection include monographs (over 160 book titles), catalogued wrestling photos (over 900 images), hundreds of fan magazines and event programs, and paper ephemera including posters, pamphlets, fan scrapbooks, and trading cards.

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Virtual exhibition at


Red RibbonSaskatchewan AIDS Network. 1995-2002.  The Saskatchewan AIDS Network (SAN) was formed in 1995 as a coalition of community-based organizations dedicated to responding to HIV/AIDS at the provincial level through the development and maintenance of community partnerships. The bulk of this fonds is material dealing with the interaction and publications of various HIV/AIDS interest groups both provincial and national.

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Neil Richards Collection of Sexual and Gender Diversity. Book collection described above.
Catalogue records available through series title searches of U of S Library Online Catalogue

The CorrensChamberlain vs. Surrey School Board #36 [2002].  Case papers donated by British Columbia lawyer Joseph Arvay concerning the litigation that led the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002 to hold that a school board cannot rely on the religious objections of some parents to justify banning books which depict families with same-sex parents. Also related papers donated by British Columbia educator Murray Corren and his partner/husband Peter Corren dealing with their participation in the  Chamberlain case as well as many other groundbreaking cases and campaigns towards LGBTQ equality in British Columbia – Partially organized.

Case description at
Information on the Correns at

Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition. 2001-2011. Organizational records presently uncatalogued.


Strange Sisters
A cover from Passions Uncovered: Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pulps 


You may also be interested in the following web exhibits and resources produced by the University of Saskatchewan Library and Archives

All Frocked Up: Glimpses of Cross-Dressing in Saskatchewan

Ambisextrous: Gender Impersonators of Music Hall and Vaudeville

Celebrating a History of Diversity: Lesbian and Gay Life in Saskatchewan, 1971-2006. A Selected Annotated Chronology

Passions Uncovered: Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pulps

Saskatchewan Resources for Sexual and Gender Diversity


Other Saskatchewan collections:

University of Regina Archives and Special Collections

MilanoTheodore Allen Heinrich 1910-1981. Theodore Allen Heinrich was an art collector, curator and administrator, who held a series of prominent positions during his career, including curatorship of drawings at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art (1953-1955), and directorship of Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum (1956-1962). He was invited by artist Ron Bloore to come to the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, to become its first Visiting Professor of Art History (1964-65). The records in this collection range from the years 1912 to 1981. Although Heinrich did not publicly proclaim his homosexuality, this aspect of his life is also reflected in his papers and thus they represent a rare source of information on a homosexual lifestyle, particularly in the 1940s and 50s. Box 24 "Physique Photographs" and Box 196 "Nude Series" are particularly significant in this regard.