Founded by Will Aitken, Bruce Garside and John Southin in 1973, Librarie L’Androgyne was the first Queer bookstore in Montreal, specializing in a variety of Queer and feminist literature. Its first location, occupied until 1982, was on Crescent Street in the heart of downtown Montreal.
More than just a bookstore, L’Androgyne was an integral part of Montreal’s Queer community. From 1976 to 1982, the bookstore acted as a collective, operated by queer and straight volunteers. L’Androgyne was thus a bookstore, a resource center and a public queer gathering place all in one. One of L’Androgyne’s employees during this period, Ross Higgins, co-founded the Archives Gaies du Québec (AGQ). In fact, the first acquisitions of the AGQ were the papers and archives of the Androgyne collective after its dissolution in 1982.
In 1982 the bookstore had moved up St Laurent, and then into the present-day Gay Village by 2001. By the next year, L’Androgyne had closed.
This listing was created by Christiane-Marie Cantwell, Assistant Archivist at the Archives Gaies du Québec and Audrey Gray, Project Officer at the National Trust for Canada.
Founded in 1983, the Quebec Gay Archives have a mandate to acquire, conserve and preserve any handwritten, printed, visual or audio material which testify to the history of the LGBTQ+ communities of Quebec. The Quebec Gay Archives play an essential role as a guardian of LGBTQ2S+ history, through its conservation of archival fonds and collections, its organization of public events and by welcoming researchers and visitors to its reading room. Researchers can consult their collections on weekdays by appointment at info@AGQ.qc.ca.”
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