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11 Rare Images From The World’s Largest Trans Archives

"If you're going to write history, you need to hear from the people who were there."

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Here's something you may not have known: Canada is home to the world's largest transgender archives collection.

The University of Victoria houses the Transgender Archives, a massive collection of books, art, photos, posters, newsletters, memorabilia, and more documenting transgender and gender nonconforming communities. If you were to the entire collection into boxes, they could sit on a shelf the length of a football field.

"It's just a whole range of interests and topics that are of interest to transgender people and their lives," said Aaron H. Devor, UVic's Chair in Transgender Studies and the archive's founder.

"If you're going to write history, you need to hear from the people who were there."

UVic also just hosted Moving Trans History Forward, the largest trans conference ever hosted in Canada.

Here's a peek inside the impressive and fascinating collection.

1. Teacher and activist Ariadne "Ari" Kane, 1978.

The Transgender Archives

2. Model Caroline "Tula" Cossey.

The Transgender Archives

3. Racing driver and World War II fighter pilot Roberta Cowell, 1954. She's know as the first British trans woman to undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

The Transgender Archives
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4. Philanthropist Reed Erickson, circa the 1970s.

The Transgender Archives

5. Stephanie Castle from her 1992 book Feelings: A Transexual's Explanation of a Baffling Condition.

The Transgender Archives

6. Diahana Pulido on the cover of Tapestry, 1988.

The Transgender Archives

7. American transgender activist Virginia Prince, 1955.

The Transgender Archives
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8. Prince founded Transvestia magazine in 1960.

The Transgender Archives
The Transgender Archives

9. A movie lobby card advertising the 1970 movie "The Christine Jorgensen Story."

The Transgender Archives

10. Three unidentified participants in Fantasia Fair in the mid-1980s

Mariette Pathy Allen

11. A poster and portrait of a Fantasia Fair attendee.

The Transgender Archives
Mariette Pathy Allen

You can find out more about the Transgender Archives on the UVic website or Facebook.