In 2002 Mark Bowman founded the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Religious Archives Network. Recognizing that “history is written from the perspective of those who preserve their records,” the LGBTQ-RAN coordinates and supports the identification, collection and preservation of personal papers and organizational records from LGBTQ religious movements. To encourage scholarly research and historical study of these important movements for social change, LGBTQ-RAN disseminates information about these records and provides and facilitates access to them, using digital technology when possible.

LGBTQ-RAN became a program of CLGS in 2008 in order to secure greater support and connections for its mission. The Network complements  the research, training, and advocacy programs at CLGS, including the Center’s own growing collection of archival materials.

The LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) is an innovative venture in preserving history and encouraging scholarly study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) religious movements around the world.  LGBTQ-RAN has a two-fold basic purpose.

  • It assists LGBTQ religious leaders and groups in determining how best to preserve their records and papers in appropriate repositories.
  • LGBTQ-RAN provides an electronic information clearinghouse for these archival collections and other historical data about LGBTQ religious history for the use of historians, researchers and other interested persons.

LGBTQ-RAN can best be understood as a “virtual” archive.  It is not a physical repository that collects and preserves papers and records.  Instead, LGBTQ-RAN is a resource center that enables the preservation of history and makes historical information easily accessible through this web site.

Recognizing that history is written from the perspective of those who preserve their records, LGBTQ-RAN’s overarching purpose is to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the voices and experiences of a great diversity of LGBT religious leaders and groups.

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New data, biographical profiles, artifacts, oral histories and exhibitions are being added on a regular basis.