Digital Transgender Archive



The purpose of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA) is to increase the accessibility of transgender history by providing an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world.


The DTA uses the term transgender to refer to a broad and inclusive range of non-normative gender practices. We treat transgender as a practice rather than an identity category in order to bring together a trans-historical and trans-cultural collection of materials related to trans-ing gender. We collect materials from anywhere in the world with a focus on materials created before the year 2000.

Copyright, Privacy, and Take Down Procedures

To fulfill our mission, the DTA creates and collects metadata and provides access to digital objects provided by a broad range of contributors, which we then expose to other digital collections and search engines to make these materials more widely available.

Prior to making digital objects available on our site, we work with contributors to make a good faith effort to secure the rights to digitize materials and make them available online for noncommercial educational and research purposes. 

Please note that digital objects included in the DTA reserve the copyright restrictions that are specified in the record for each object. If visitors to the site wish to use digital objects from the DTA, even when "No Known Restrictions on Use" is indicated in a record, they are responsible for determining whether their use would qualify as fair use or whether they need to secure permissions from copyright holders. Requests for permission to use or reproduce any materials on this site should be directed to the copyright holder or hosting institution, not to the DTA.

The DTA operates with the understanding that metadata is not subject to copyright; all metadata included in the DTA is made available under a CC0 license.

While the purpose of the DTA is to make trans history more accessible, we make every effort to do so without violating copyright law or the privacy of the individuals who are represented in the collection. If any material on this site is found to violate copyright law, the DTA will notify the contributor and we will take down the material immediately. If any material on this site violates personal privacy, please contact us and we will address the situation immediately.

Explicit Content

The DTA includes explicit materials containing nudity and graphic content. In determining whether objects qualify as explicit we use the following guidelines:

-       object shows a person of any gender exhibiting below the waist nudity, front or back.

-       object shows a feminine- or female-presenting person exhibiting above the waist frontal nudity.

-       object shows violent or graphic content.

Objects are not flagged for images of prosthetics or for language or text that is vulgar, objectionable, or sexually explicit. Objects that are hosted in other digital repositories are also not flagged unless there is explicit content in a thumbnail.

Before viewing any explicit materials, visitors are prompted for their consent in order to confirm that they are not a minor and that they wish to see the materials. Our consent prompt reads:

“This item contains content that some viewers may deem explicit or that may be inappropriate for minors. By clicking 'View Content,' you consent that you are not a minor and that you wish to see these materials.”

If you believe that we have mistakenly marked an object as explicit or that we should consider adding an explicit content warning to an object, feel free to contact us.

Describing Objects

All of the objects in the DTA include descriptive information, or metadata, to make those objects searchable within our database. The creation of metadata requires interpretation and labeling and it can be a highly subjective and political act. Whenever possible, we adopt language that is already provided in an object. For non-textual objects such as photographs, we do not attempt to over-interpret visual cues related to individuals’ identities (such as race, ethnicity, ability, etc.) given the likelihood of misinterpretation. Researchers should note that this practice causes some themes to be less apparent in search results. 

For the full documentation of our metadata, please see our Metadata Application Profile.

Linking Back to Original Hosts

Many of the items on our site are also hosted online by the institutions that hold the corresponding physical materials. Whenever possible, we have provided links to the websites of the hosting institutions. If we have omitted those links, it was a result of oversight or timing issues (we may have processed items before they became available). Feel free to contact us with suggestions for updating records!

Style Guides

We are pleased to share our DTA Style Guide and our Social Media Style Guide in case they may be useful for other projects.