Quatrefoil Library as seen from the pavement in front of the building.
1220 East Lake Street|
|Items collected||Books, magazines, DVDs, VHS tapes|
|Access and use|
|Access requirements||Library membership|
Quatrefoil Library is a member-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit library for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. It is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where it was founded by David Irwin and Dick Hewetson in 1983. It is the second LGBT lending library in the United States. In the beginning, it was not only an educational resource center but also a safe space for LGBT people. The library houses over 15,000 books, 7,000 DVDs, a collection of first editions and rare books, and books in Braille. It hosts poetry readings, panel discussions, book launches, and other events, open to all.
The doors of the library officially opened to the public on February 4, 1986. It opened with a significant donation from the collections of David Irwin but afterwards received donations from individuals across the country. Quatrefoil Library shared space with the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union at 1021 West Broadway in Minneapolis. Sixteen months after its opening, the library moved to a bigger building in St. Paul to accommodate the growing collection. Early volunteers and supporters include Jean-Nickolaus Tretter of the Tretter Collection, Tim Campbell who provided ad space in his publication and George Holdgrafer of Lavender magazine. The library published a newsletter, The Gay Bookworm, which was later christened Quatrefolio.
The library took its name from the novel Quatrefoil: A Modern Novel by James Barr. Founding member David Irwin had been so impressed with the positive portrayal of homosexuality, that he insisted on naming their collection the Quatrefoil Library.
In 2013, the library moved to its present site in Minneapolis with twice as much space as it had in St. Paul.
The mission of the Quatrefoil Library is to collect, maintain, document and circulate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space.
The library's collection includes lesbian periodicals, documentaries, gay-themed posters, pulp novels, fiction, non-fiction, art, and photography books. As of 2007, the volume of the collection included more 14,000 books, 1,040 DVDs, 2,123 VHS videotapes, 500 periodicals and 1,550 pulp novels. The library also houses a collection of rare and out-of-print books.
Quatrefoil collaborated with the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies to host the first international conference on LGBT Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections in Minneapolis.
- "Become a Member". Quatrefoil Library. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- "Charity Search Results: Quatrefoil Library". The Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
- "Quatrefoil: Gay/Lesbian Library". Library Journal. 119: 25. 1986. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
- Keim 2008, p. viii.
- Van Cleve 2012, p. 216.
- Larsen 2017, p. 172-3.
- Frame, Robert (2016). "In and Out: Thirty Years At the Quatrefoil Library". Hennepin History. 75 (2): 12.
- Sturdevant, A. (April 17, 2014). "LGBT history is lovingly preserved at Quatrefoil Library on Lake Street". MinnPost.
- "Twin Cities Gaze". Twin Cities Gaze. February 1986.
- Keim 2008, p. 18.
- Barr, James (1950). Quatrefoil. 1950: Greenberg Press. OCLC 542667.
- Keim 2008, p. 7.
- "History". Quatrefoil Library. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
- "Quatrefoil website". Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- Marianne Combs (July 14, 2016). "From private collection to lending library: Quatrefoil grows as resource for LGBT community". MPR News. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- Greenblatt, Ellen (2011). Serving LGBTIQ Library and Archives Users: Essays on Outreach, Service ... Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.,. p. 147. ISBN 9780786448944.
- Keim, Adam (2008). History of the Quatrefoil Library (PDF). Friends of the Bill of Rights. ISBN 9780966882827.
- Van Cleve, Stewart (2012). Land of 10,000 Loves : A History of Queer Minnesota. Univ Of Minnesota Press.
- Larsen, Elizabeth Foy (2017). 111 Places in the Twin Cities that You Must Not Miss. Emons Verlang GmbH. pp. 172–3. ISBN 9783740800291.