Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life records, 1979-2012

Emory University

Emory University Archives

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/c9hv0

Digital Material Available in this Collection

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Emory University. Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Life.
Title: Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life records, 1979-2012
Call Number:Series No. 208
Extent: 4.75 linear ft. (10 boxes)
Abstract:The Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Life records contain files that were created by the Office and by Emory LGBT student groups from 1979 to 2012 documenting campus protests and controversies, as well as campaigns for policy changes related to discrimination and harassment prevention and same-sex partner benefits.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Selected material is closed in accordance with Emory University Archives policy for personnel records.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

President's Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns records (Series 28)


Transfer, 2012 and 2015


[after identification of item(s)], Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life records, Emory University Archives, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Michael Hessel-Mial, 2012.

Collection Description

Administrative History

The Emory University Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life was founded in 1991 as the Office of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Student Life. Together with the President’s Commission on LGBT Concerns (later renamed the President's Commission on Sexuality, Gender Diversity, and Queer Equality) and student activism, the Office precipitated several changes in Emory policy, including the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to the University equal opportunity policy, and creating same-sex partner benefits for University employees. The Office, under the direction of Saralyn Chesnut, also provided leadership in several controversies. Notable among these were the 1992 protests over the harassment of two gay students, and the “Oxford affair,” in which President William Chace and the Board of Trustees came into conflict over whether same-sex couples could use Emory facilities to hold commitment ceremonies. The Office was renamed the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life in 1998.

The advocacy and programming of the Office was preceded and bolstered by the activities of various student groups, beginning with the Committee on Gay Education (COGE) in 1977. In 1983 COGE had reincorporated as Student Action for Human Rights (SAHR) in an effort to include non-LGBT allies. In 1986 the organization reincorporated as the Emory and Lesbian and Gay Organization (ELGO). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ELGO raised the profile of LGBT students by campaigning aggressively for the revised equal opportunity policy, and by having its leaders appear in interviews in Emory student publications. In 1995, ELGO merged with OUTstaff, a similar group for University employees, to form the Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual and Allies League (GLOBAL). Since then, LGBT groups have emerged representing nearly all of the divisions of the University, including Emory Pride for Emory College, Rainbow Oxford Student Alliance for Oxford College, and Sacred Worth for Candler School of Theology, among others.

Scope and Content Note

Series 1 contains the records of the Office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Life. The bulk of the series is comprised of a chronological file of articles and correspondence on Emory and Atlanta LGBT history created by the Office itself on the occassion of its 20th anniversary. These files include material on a 1992 harassment incident that provoked wide protests and galvanized the LGBT voice on campus. Other notable contents include files on the national controversy known as the “Oxford affair,” in which President William Chace and the Board of Trustees came into conflict over whether same-sex couples could use Emory facilities to hold commitment ceremonies.

Series 2 contains material generated during the operations of Emory’s various Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender student groups from 1979-2007. Material type varies by organization, with the earliest group files, Committee on Gay Education and Student Action for Human Rights, containing group charters and budget material, and later groups, like Emory Lesbian and Gay Organization and Gay Lesbian Or Bisexual and Allies League containing correspondence, printed material, and photographs. Emory Pride materials include a binder of forms, meeting minutes, and other materials used in the administration of the group. Notable contents include Emory Lesbian and Gay Organization’s binder titled, “The Fight for Freedom,” which details the campaign to add sexual orientation to the University equal opportunity statement. Additional contents of interest include correspondence from Oxford students disputing how harassment could be defined and policed.

Series 3 contains the captured and preserved website of the Office of LGBT Life available to browse via the Web Archiving Service of the California Digital Library.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 3 series: (1) Office of LGBT Life records, (2) LGBT Student Group records, and (3) Web archives.

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