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Last-Modified: 3 May 1997

Unlike most FAQs, this list is not a collection of hearsay.


[1]. What is the QRD?
[2]. Does the QRD have a vision or mission statement? What is it?
[3]. How long has the QRD been around?
[4]. Who operates and maintains the QRD?
[5]. What host name should I use?
[6]. How do I access the QRD?
[7]. How do I find something in the QRD?
[8]. How frequently do people use the QRD?
[9]. Who pays for all of this?
[10]. Sounds cool; how can I mirror the QRD?
[11]. How often are the files updated, and what about accuracy?
[12]. How do I add something to it?
[13]. What file formats are allowed?
[14]. How can I get a copy of this file whenever I want?

1. What is the QRD?

The QRD (short for Queer Resources Directory) is an electronic library with news clippings, political contact information, newsletters, essays, images, hyperlinks, and every other kind of information resource of interest to the GLBO community. Information is stored for the use of casual network users and serious researchers alike.

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2. Does the QRD have a vision or mission statement? What is it?

Vision Statement, April 2, 1994

The Queer Resources Directory (QRD) is an electronic research library specifically dedicated to sexual minorities -- groups which have traditionally been labelled as "queer" and systematically discriminated against.

As a library, our function is to provide as much information as possible on every facet and issue relating to sexual minorities. Our collection is open to anyone researching the issues peculiar to this population. You may find the QRD contains information and viewpoints that you did not anticipate, or that you did not consider. It is a goal for the QRD to contain every scrap of knowledge which has been used in or is part of the struggle for full equality. We hope you are able to use this information to broaden your horizons and enrich your experience in ways you had not expected.

The QRD also specifically contains information which is produced by persons and organizations not sympathetic towards our struggles for equality. While this information is intended for use as counterintelligence, we have no ability or desire to control what you may do with information you have found in the QRD. It is our policy not to censor information on any issues related to sexual minorities unless absolutely necessary for the continued existence and availability of the QRD to as many persons as possible. Additionally, we do not endorse the goals or aims of any specific group or groups which have submitted material to our collection.

Our electronic library is available to anyone who has access to the Internet or who has a modem and can call one of our BBS mirrors.

In the United States, where the QRD is headquartered, there are broad protections for political expression of all kinds. But not all people in all times and all places have such protection. Because we impose no controls on who has access to our collection, you may find material in the QRD which is banned or otherwise illegal in the country you are accessing the QRD from. If you are contacting QRD from a part of the world where you do not have such protections, please be aware that by browsing our collection you may be putting yourself at risk for government surveillance, legal action, or political persecution. While we sympathize deeply with the plight of people struggling for freedom everywhere, we can not be held responsible for any consequences you may face for having visited our library.

Also, due to the current negative political climate in the United States regarding encryption technology, people in the US may not send encrypted documents to sites outside the US. Fortunately, there are QRD staff members outside of the United States who can be of assistance in this matter. If you have need of encrypted QRD documents, please send us mail.

At the current time, the QRD enjoys the ability to provide all information services free of charge. This situation is made possible by the generous private donations of our staff's time, our many hosts' equipment, and shared network connections. The QRD is not funded by any single person or organization, nor any public source. While it may not always be possible for all of our services to be available without charge, we realize this as an important goal, and an important part of the Internet tradition of public service.

There is one exception to the broad collection guidelines. Although the QRD recognizes the importance of erotic artwork and writing to our community, we do not archive that type of information. Please look elsewhere for those resources.

*3. How long has the QRD been around?

The QRD started in 1991 as an electronic archive for Queer Nation. Ron Buckmire created the QRD after realizing that a more extensive resource than just an archive for QN would be useful for the queer Internet community. The oldest files in the QRD date from about February 1991, though the QRD did not really exist in its current form until around September 1991, when the QN archive was transformed into the broader Queer Resources Directory.

In the past, the QRD has been kindly housed, without official sanction, on various hosts, including cambridge.apple.com, nifty.andrew.cmu.edu, vector.intercon.com, vector.casti.com, and qrd.tcp.com

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4. Who operates and maintains the QRD?

We are always on the lookout for more volunteers who can help us make the QRD a better resource. If you have skills and resources which you can volunteer to this end, please contact us.

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5. What host name should I use?

The QRD's content is carried on several servers simultaneously.

Load is distributed among QRD co-servers based on the access method used. The following host names are supported to distribute load for users in North America:

We would like to be able to say that those address were all you'd ever need to find the QRD, and that it would always be the best way to obtain service. This would be true if the Internet links were equally strong in all parts of the world, but of course they aren't.

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6. How do I access it?

The QRD can be accessed via World-Wide Web (Netscape, lynx, Mosaic, etc.) electronic mail, BBS, and FTP. Details for each access method follow.

World-Wide Web

The URL for the QRD's main page is: Simply point your WWW browser at that URL and you'll be connected to us immediately.

The most common text-based browser is lynx. Graphic browsers include Netscape, tkWWW and Mosaic for XWindows, MSWindows, and Mac. Many online services, such as AOL, Compuserve, Microsoft Net, and Prodigy, also offer Web access.


The Queer Resources Directory can be accessed via email from any Internet-reaching system. This means you can extract files from the QRD even if you only have a CompuServe, AOL, FidoNet, or mail-only Internet BBS connection.

To use this service, send electronic mail to ftpmail@qrd.org

The subject line of your message will be ignored. Your message must begin with "open" on a line by itself and end with "quit" on a line by itself. Between those two delimiters, you may use the following commands:

ls [pathname]
short listing of pathname. Default pathname is current directory.
dir [pathname]
long listing of pathname. Default pathname is current directory.
cd pathname
Change directory.
get pathname
Get a file and email it back.
You are strongly encouraged to use the following message on your first use of this service:
	cd pub/QRD
	get 00README
This script will cause the ftpmail program to send you 6 messages in response:
  1. An acknowledgement that your request was received and is queued
  2. A top-level directory of the FTP area
  3. A directory of the QRD
  4. The QRD readme file
  5. A receipt that your request was successfully processed
A few notes about this service: For more information about this service, send a message containing only "help" on a line by itself.


To access the QRD by FTP you must issue these commands if you are using a shell account (typically UNIX or VAX) version of ftp:
	ftp ftp.qrd.org

Log in as "anonymous" or "ftp" and at the password prompt, enter your email address -- make sure it has an @ sign, or you will be denied access. Then enter:

	cd /pub/QRD
Then before you start, you should look at the README file. The HIGHLIGHTS file is also useful to get a sense of what files are popular. To get these files, issue the commands:
	get 00README
If your system needs to have filenames of another type you can change the name that the file you are getting will have on your local system by simply giving it. So you would say:
	get 0QRD-BY-MAIL qrdmail.txt
and then the file would appear on your local system as 'qrdmail.txt' and not 0QRD-BY-MAIL.

You can look at these files by either leaving FTP by issuing "bye" or "quit" or "exit". Or, from a UNIX box, you could suspend FTP by sending a "^Z" [control-Z] then looking at the files README and HIGHLIGHTS on your system and then re-starting FTP by issuing a "fg" command.

Then you can "cd" to whereever you want and get the desired file from that directory. Look at the GUIDE file to see the full directory structure of the QRD.

ftp Mirror List

These are the current ftp mirrors of the QRD:

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7. How do I find something in it?

This is a tough one, but a question we get quite a bit at the QRD. Unfortunately, our staff is not large enough to provide research assistance, but here are some tips: [Up to the Table of Contents]

8. How frequently do people use the QRD?

Since 1993 the size of the QRD's contents has grown exponentially. It only makes sense that the number of accesses has also increased dramatically; 150,000 hits per month per mirror are common.

Monthly web statistics for the main www.qrd.org site are available at http://www.qrd.org/stats/ . These statistics do not include traffic on mirror sites, or FTP usage.

There are several mirror sites for the QRD, and while statistics are only available from one of them, any reasonable estimate makes the QRD one of the most frequently accessed libraries of its kind. Mirror sites are listed in each of the QRD-BY files, referenced in question 4.

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+9. Who pays for all this?

The QRD is a project operated entirely by volunteers using donated equipment and network access. Although you may be charged for network access by your service provider, there are no additional surcharges for use of the QRD, and no one involved with the QRD realizes any financial benefit from this project. The QRD was established during the time when the Internet had a long-standing tradition of public service, and although the network has changed dramatically since then, we still consider providing free access to information our primary goal and function. Take another look at our Mission Statement.

We are looking for assistance in becoming a 501c(3) non-profit organization so that we can facilitate the donation of goods and services to the QRD. Contact us if you can help us to do that.

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10. Sounds cool; how can I mirror the QRD?

If you'd like to volunteer, see question 4 above. If you have system and network resources, we'd be happy to have you on board as a co-server. You must have at least 400 megabytes of free disk space to store the 20,000-plus files in the QRD.

We recommend the Perl program mirror to automate the task of maintaining your copy of the QRD. Please contact staff@qrd.org if you are interested in mirroring the QRD site.

We especially are interested in having a USA mirror site on the East coast, or outside the US.

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*11. How often are the files updated, and what about accuracy?

The QRD staff does not maintain any files in the QRD. Members of the QRD staff may individually maintain well-known files (most notably the list of lgbt email lists known as the LGBT List of Lists). The QRD staff maintains the QRD itself, which is a near full-time job. This is why the staff does not process research assistance requests or the like.

The QRD staff can make no warranty for the timeliness or accuracy of the information in the QRD. Since we draw on the net.public at large for most of our files, there is no way we could possibly verify each piece of information in our archives. Wherever possible, though, we include the name and email address of the person who submitted the file and you can of course contact that person for more information.

If you find a file in the QRD which has out-of-date information, please bring it to our attention. As a general rule we will not remove files from the QRD without good reason, but in the case of obsolete data we will do our best to keep that kind of misinformation to a minimum.

Here is a statement dealing with the QRD's legal liability for the data it archives:

The information provided here is for background reference, historical, or personal interest use only. No resources found at the Queer Resource Directory are substitutes for professional legal advice. Neither QRD, the owners of the hardware supporting the Directory, QRD staff, nor volunteers adding or maintaining this information make any representations as to its accuracy. Do not use any information you find here to answer questions about your own or friends' legal questions. These documents present no law and confer no rights.

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*12. How do I add something to it?

If you think you have something that would be of value to other GLBO folk as resource material -- for example an essay you've written or a set of fliers you've developed for a media campaign -- by all means, send the files our way. There are two convenient methods:
  1. Send email to submissions@qrd.org with your submission.
  2. Via FTP, upload your file(s) to pub/QRD/incoming.
Please remember that the QRD will not archive copyrighted materials without written permission from the copyright holder.

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13. What file formats are accepted?

Most of the information in the QRD is ASCII text, and this is definitely our preferred format. ASCII text is easily accessible by all users, and is easy for our search engine to index.

Since the start of 1995, we've been adding more and more hypertext to the QRD, some of it composed, and some of it automatically generated; these files are in HTML. FTP users finding "index.html" files in the text directories should ignore them.

The QRD also stores a small number of files in other formats, including GIF, JPEG, and PDF.

If you have questions or a special need for your submission, by all means write to us at staff@qrd.org and we'll work something out.

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14. How can I get a copy of this file whenever I want?

The most current version of this file is always on the Web at http://www.qrd.org/qrd/www/faq.html

ASCII text version is in the QRD at pub/QRD/faq, and you can get a copy of it by email by sending any kind of message (presumably a blank one, since the contents are ignored) to our automatic responder, at info@qrd.org.

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Queer Resources Directory
staff@qrd.org, 18 September 2000