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Carmen Vázquez papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00557

Scope and Contents

The Carmen Vázquez Papers document Vázquez's activism for gay, lesbian, bi and transgender rights; they include materials pertaining to gay and lesbian health issues, as well as Vázquez's interest and involvement in broader issues of race and class. The collection includes diaries, correspondence, biographical information, an interview, photographs, memorabilia, writings speeches by Vázquez re: LGBT rights; files pertaining to Vázquez's work for LGBT rights, including the LGBT Community Center, Empire State Pride Agenda Federation, and Equality Federation Institute. The activities of the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center are also well-documented.

Dates of Materials

  • 1951 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:
  1. Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  2. This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.
  3. Accession 08S-75 is closed until fully processed.
  4. Digital content is closed until it can be processed.

Conditions Governing Access

Until we move into New Neilson in early 2021, collections are stored in multiple locations and may take up to 48 hours to retrieve. Researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Special Collections ( at least a week in advance of any planned visits so that boxes may be retrieved for them in a timely manner.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works by the creator of this collection. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

The oldest of seven children, Carmen Vázquez (b. 1949) was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Harlem. She attended the City University of New York, earning a Bachelors in English and a Masters in Education. Vázquez lived and worked in San Francisco for almost two decades, becoming a seasoned activist and movement leader in causes ranging from immigrant rights to lesbian health. She was the founding director of the Women's Building in San Francisco, the Director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and the Coordinator of Lesbian and Gay Health Services for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She was also the co-founder and co-chair of Somos Hermanas, a Central American Women's Solidarity Network.

She returned to New York in 1994 as the Director of Public Policy for the LGBT Community Center in New York City. She has published in many journals, magazines, and anthologies and is a featured speaker at activist conferences including the NGLTF's Creating Change. Vázquez is currently the Deputy Director of Empire State Pride Agenda and lives in Brooklyn.


13 boxes (14.75 linear feet)

0.03475 Gigabytes

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Lesbian activist. The Carmen Vázquez Papers document Vazquez's activism for gay and lesbian rights; they include materials pertaining to gay and lesbian health issues, as well as Vazquez's interest and involvement in broader issues of race and class. The collection includes diaries, correspondence, biographical information, an interview, photographs, memorabilia, writings speeches.


This collection has been added to over time in multiple "accessions." An accession is a group of materials received from the same source at approximately the same time. Note that in most cases, container numbers start over at 1 with each new accession.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains materials received from the donor in digital form that are not currently available online. Please consult with Special Collections staff to request access to this digital content.

Other Finding Aids

One or more content listings to individual accessions in this collection are available for download. Links can be found in the description of the individual accessions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Carmen M. Vázquezin 2006.


Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Related Materials

Associated material: oral history in the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Burd Schlessinger, 2006.

The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created. Some media was unable to be copied. See the log files linked in the container list for more details.
Finding Aid to the Carmen Vázquez papers
Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:20-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-05-15: Description added for born-digital content.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063